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Layered Chicken Taco Salad with a side of Mexican love


Mexico…it has a special place in my heart. This is where I met my husband. A series of calamitous events had landed me depressed and dejected in Cabo san Lucas. It all started when I was laid off from my government job following the stock market crash of 2008. I made the very responsible decision to spend my new found freedom on vacation in Mexico. I booked a charter trip with my friend to Puerto Vallarta. Shortly before our trip started, a tropical storm formed just off shore of our resort. Perfect…at least the storm matched my mood. My friend and I arrived at the airport at 4am on a cold Sunday morning to catch our flight to Mexico. The Vancouver International Airport is HUGE, but even for that early hour the terminal seemed eerily quiet. We followed the signs to our check in counter, but no one was there. In fact, there was NO ONE in the entire airport! After wandering around aimlessly, we saw a lone soul manning an information kiosk. She told us our flight had left the day before. UGH. I double checked my tickets and they definitely said Sunday. I felt like the universe was conspiring against me and my ill advised vacation. We left the airport feeling frustrated and confused. I was resigned to drinking tea in bed for a week, but my friend was a lawyer and insisted we should just book a new vacation. She was sure that we wouldn’t have to pay for it. So….we booked a slightly NICER vacation resort….and we moved the destination to Cabo to avoid the tropical storm. Once we finally arrived, a group of American guys followed us around all week. The quiet one who mostly read a book while nursing a calf injury looked me up on social media when he got home. A couple years later we were married. Oh, and VISA paid for our entire trip to Cabo since the initial trip was booked through their travel rewards program. Maybe the universe was conspiring…just not against me.

I loved the food at our Mexican resort. My friend and I left 10lbs heavier, and we were only there a week! I LOVE Mexican food. That being said, I should probably move on to this light and delicious salad (which won’t result in a massive weight gain!). It’s perfect for a summer lunch or dinner and the dressing is what makes it so yummy. The layers of crunchy chips, juicy chicken and crisp peppers soak up the flavors of the dressing. Use a glass bowl if you have one to show off the layers.

In the morning, bake or BBQ some chicken to shred for the salad. Also prepare the dressing ahead of time so that the flavors can blend together over time in the fridge.


My next post will describe how to make the perfect MARGARITA, which would pair nicely with this salad. Visit my facebook page and click on the “follow” button so you don’t miss it!

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  • 3 cups romaine lettuce chopped
  • 3 cup spinach
  • 3 large roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 can whole kernel sweet corn
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups colby/monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips broken into medium sized pieces
  • 2 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large jar that seals. Shake well to blend. Place in fridge for at least three hours prior to use. Shake again before serving

  1. In a large glass bowl, place romaine lettuce and spinach on the bottom.

  2. Next layer tomatoes, then corn, black beans, red pepper, shredded chicken, green onions, and cheese

  3. Mix 3/4 cup of the dressing with 3/4 cup of salsa. Stir to mix

  4. Drizzle dressing/salsa mixture over the cheese

  5. Top with tortilla chips

  6. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and a little left over corn and red pepper for color