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Monday, June 16, 2014

#ad Community Involvement & Southwestern Chicken Salad with Avocado Chipotle Dressing

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

I am always on the lookout for easy Chicken Dinner Ideas, how about you? Especially since it's summer and hot outside, I jump at any chance to not have to turn on my oven. Which means we typically grill or eat fresh salads, and I'm not opposed to that!  

Because I live in the Southwest, I wanted to whip up a new dish that involved the ingredients that are commonly used here...you know, the green chiles, flavorful chicken, cilantro, black beans, etc. The result is this delicious Southwestern Chicken Salad with Avocado Chipotle Dressing. It's every bit as tasty as it is gorgeous.
I took it a step further and included homemade tortilla chips.  The other day we were out of store-bought and I just had to have something to dip in my salsa, so I whipped up a batch of my own chips.  It was a happy discovery, and I love that I don't need to make a special trip to the store for them anymore.  They also make great salad garnishes!

Here's how to make them.  It's so easy!

{HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS}

Flour Tortillas
Olive Oil
Salt

Grab some flour tortillas and brush the fronts and backs with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides.  Three tortillas yields just enough squares to fit in one layer on a large cookie sheet. Stack oiled and salted tortillas and cut into sections with a pizza cutter.  
Separate sections on cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy.
Now sprinkle some on top of today's yummy salad! 

I also made an on-the-lighter-side Avocado Chipotle Dressing to continue the Southwestern theme.  It's phenomenal!  

{AVOCADO CHIPOTLE DRESSING}

1 Tbsp. dry Ranch Dressing mix (from the seasoning packet)
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. reduced-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder or southwest chipotle seasoning blend

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  The flavor will be better if allowed to sit in the fridge for a few hours.

The real reason I made this salad was for my dear 86-year-old friend Betty.  A few months ago, she had a bad fall, broke some bones, and her health has been steadily declining since.  She can't get up or walk very well, so she mainly sits in her recliner all day and watches TV or the cars pass on the street outside.
I met this sweet lady through my church six years ago, and we formed an immediate bond.  She is my kids' adopted grandma, as well.  We enjoy visiting her once or twice a week while we bring her groceries and clean her house.  Because she isn't blessed with supportive family, we try to fill that void as much as possible by being a constant in her life.  We have such a deep love for this special woman.

I'm really trying to teach my kids to have giving hearts and helping hands.  I've found that the best way to do this is by offering them opportunities to serve by my side, in our church and community.  Children learn through example, and my hope is that they will gain a love for service by seeing their mother in action and feeling joy in doing it themselves, as well. 
Betty doesn't get to enjoy a homemade meal very often, so my kids and I hand-delivered a Southwestern Chicken Salad to her the other evening.  Her face lit up when she saw my sweet kids come through the door with goodness-filled Tupperware in hand. 

{SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN SALAD}
Serves around 6

1 bag Frozen Tyson Southwestern Chicken Breast Strips
2 bags (10 oz. each) Romaine lettuce
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 can (4 oz.) green chiles
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained, or the same amount of fresh corn
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ripe avocados, diced
Homemade Tortilla Strips for garnish

Warm chicken strips according to package directions.  Place lettuce on plate and top with tomatoes, green chiles, cheddar cheese, corn, black beans, avocados, chicken strips, and tortilla chips.  Drizzle with Avocado Chipotle Dressing.  Enjoy!

Probably my favorite part about this salad, aside from its amazing taste, is its simplicity.  Tyson Grilled & Ready Strips are fully cooked and just need to be quickly warmed atop the stove or in the microwave.  They're perfectly flavored with a southwest seasoning blend too!
I found them fully-stocked in the freezer section at my local Walmart.  Tyson frozen chicken products are also available in Day Starts, Any'tizers and chicken nuggets).
Tyson has partnered with Champions for Kids in a program called "Summer of Giving".  For every specially-marked bag of product purchased, Tyson will donate 1 meal to a child in need!  What a fantastic cause.

Because ending hunger is so important to Tyson Foods, they've founded a project called KNOW Hunger.  Through this initiative, you and I can come to KNOW the scope of hunger in our country and participate in relief efforts to alleviate the issue.  Hopefully some day there will be NO hunger in our country!  Find out more about this great cause HERE.

Additionally, through this campaign, Walmart has promised to feed 5 million kids this summer!  That's incredible!

A great way to get involved is to offer a meal to someone or a family in need.  I know first-hand that food has the power to lift spirits and help an individual feel loved.  I hope you'll take this to heart and join with me in making the next few months a memorable #SummerofGiving!

Thank you, #CollectiveBias and Tyson, for providing me with this opportunity to raise awareness about hunger in our communities and nation.

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16 comments:

  1. yum!! that looks so good. So sweet that you take care of your friend so well. I love that you made your own chips too! I've done it a few times and they are always good. Pinned. Emily@nap-timecreations.com

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  2. Yummy Yummy!! This is the perfect time of year for a great salad....and this looks great!! Thanks for sharing at the "Mad Skils" Link party!

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    1. I agree, Elaine! I love salads this time of year. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. So glad you were able to bless your friend! And I love the idea of making one's own chips. Make it easier to control sodium content, which we're careful about in this house. If you want, feel free to leave a link to this blog in the comments on mine to show other people who are doing this project http://jamiesthots.com/2014/06/16/know-community-involvement-can-end-hunger/ (this is Jamie from Jamie's Thots....my Google account still shows "unknown."

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Jamie! I just popped over to your site and left a comment.

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  4. Looks so tasty! I love any southwestern salad!

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  5. You are so sweet!! What a blessing you and your kiddos are to Betty!! And what a delicious salad!! #client

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  6. Oh my word does this look good! I am printing to make asap! Thanks for linking up at Wonderful Wed Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

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  7. Looks delicious. I'm always looking for new salad ideas and that chicken is just so easy! Thanks for sharing at The Makers. We are so glad to have you :)
    Corey @ TinySidekick.com

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    1. It was so easy, Corey! Definitely my kind of meal. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. So many things I love about this post!!!! Love how you baked the tortilla strips! Mostly love how your kids have an 'adopted' gma.. we need one of those! AND I love how your heart is SO big that you take time to visit, care for and love this sweet lady! Linking up from Fab Fresh Friday

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  9. I am going to make this! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog hop!

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  10. Pinning and will be sharing on Facebook!!

    Hugs from Freedom Fridays

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  11. What a fantastic idea, Christine! I'm loving the look of this... and I really want to eat this salad for dinner now!

    Also, this was one of my favorite links shared during last week's That's Fresh Friday Link-Up! I'll be sharing it at my site tonight (www.thespeckledpalate.com) as a feature, and I hope to see you participating again this week! Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work!

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  12. We cared for an elderly lady the same way, cooking, cleaning, etc. She was such a blessing! She went home to be with the Lord in April and we miss her dearly. It was so nice to read about your friend and how you are teaching your children by example. The salad looks yummy! I have not used pre-cooked chicken like this, but I plan to now! Thanks!

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If you like it, please feel free to "pin" it! It's such a compliment to see my content floating around Pinterest. Your comments are still very much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by!

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