05 April 2014

Chicken Caesar Salad Tacos

The process of moving is always stressful.  Flimsy cardboard boxes and cumbersome furniture is cajoled into a truck before the inevitable breaking of some (hopefully unimportant) item.  But the pre-moving?  Man, I love that time.  I get to riffle through every nook and cranny of our apartment, hunting for treasures and chucking all trash.  I finally found my missing Valentine's sock (that mate's been lonely for a year and a half), gave away two copies of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on VHS (why did I even have two?) and the hubs made $60 selling used medical textbooks on Amazon.  We're slowly but surely downsizing in preparation for the packing, and that includes the pantry.

I found three forlorn food items in the back of our surprisingly well used pantry.  A box of taco shells, half-stale graham crackers and a bag of completely petrified marshmallows (perfect food fight material...I've squirreled them away in preparation).  Now on a particularly blazee Tuesday night we had no fixin's for Mexican tacos, but we did have all the necessary ingredients for this fun little food item.  It is always perfect for a quick lunch or dinner - Chicken Caesar Salad Tacos.

This meal is incredibly simple.  Step 1:  Grill chicken.  Step 2:  Make a salad.  Step 3:  Dress said chicken & salad.  Step 4:  Fill taco shell.  Ta-daaaaa!  How's that for an easy dinner?  The crunch of the taco shell is a delightful addition to the tender greens and chicken, a great stand-in for the usual croutons.

We keep this salad super simple.  Spinach, tomato and onion are the go-to caesar salad ingredients in this household, but feel free to add croutons, olives, anchovies, cucumbers...whatever floats your boat.  And while I would never consider making this with anything but homemade caesar dressing, you can absolutely use store-bought.  Just be sure to finish the chicken by adding some dressing to the pan and giving it a quick toss.  It warms the sauce, coats the chicken evenly and smells absolutely delightful.

Chicken Caesar Salad Tacos (serves 2)

  • 6 oz chicken breast, diced
  • pepper & garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 c packed salad greens (we like spinach)
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbs caesar dressing
  • 2-4 taco shells
  • 2 tbs grated parmesan cheese, to garnish
Place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  While the pan heats, season the chicken with pepper and garlic powder.  Spray the pan with non-stick and add the chicken.  Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through with tongs.

While the chicken cooks, make your salad.  Combine the salad greens, tomato, onion and one tablespoon of the caesar in a medium bowl and toss until evenly coated with the dressing.  Fill the taco shells half full with the prepared salad, serving any remainder on the side.  

When the chicken is cooked through, add the remaining tablespoon of caesar dressing and toss together until evenly coated.  Fill the top half of the taco shells with the cooked chicken, serving any reminder on the side salad.  Garnish the tacos with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.  

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