Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad (and other musings)

“You know what I love about cooking?
I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing.
You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
From the film Julie and Julia

I don’t bake, but I know what she means. I love that after yet another day of job searching–that ultimately leaves me feeling demoralized and hopeless–I can go into the kitchen and calmly chop some vegetables, sauté some chicken and whisk together some oil and vinegar and get a great salad.

I haven’t been blogging much lately, I find it hard to work up the effort after spending hours at the computer attempting to convince people to even look at my resume, let alone hire me. I have been doing a lot of cooking though. I have a bag of ready to bake buttermilk biscuits in the freezer, several soups (tomato, vegetable, chicken stock),  pizza sauce and more stockpiled away as evidence of my attempts to self-soothe through cooking.  And last night I wanted a fresh salad and something cheesy and warm, so I made this salad paired with a simple quesadilla.  It requires a bit of chopping, but if you’re like me and actually enjoy chopping up vegetables you’ll love this.

Chopped components (except the avocado, did that last so it wouldn't get brown.)

Chopped components (except the avocado, did that last so it wouldn’t get brown.)


Chopped Mexican Salad

Serves 4


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 2 heads of romaine, chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes cut into fourths
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • drop of honey
  • Salt and pepper


  1. At least 2 hours before, combine the first set of ingredients in a ziplock bag and let the chicken marinate.
  2. When you are ready to assemble the salad, sauté the chicken to brown on both sides and then place them in a 350 degree oven until cooked through.  Remove them and let them cool before chopping.

    Yummy browned chicken

    Yummy browned chicken

  3. Wrap some plastic wrap around your corn and place in the microwave for about 2 minutes, just to get it a little cooked. Then remove the kernels.
  4. Dice the red onion and place it in ice water for several minutes (this is VERY important. Soaking onions in ice water removes the harshness and makes them easier to eat raw.  Also, no onion breath.)
  5. Cut your tomatoes and lettuce and then put everything (including salsa) in a big bowl
  6. In another bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning or acidity.
  7. Toss everything together and crumble a few tortilla chips over each plate when serving.  You can also accompany it with a cheese quesadilla as I did (just put butter in a medium pan, put in a tortilla top with cheese and then fold over.  It’s an easy path to cheesy goodness.)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Vegetable


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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