Running a hospital kitchen and cafeteria comes with…frustrations.
When I started my job, the interim director was searching the internet for nutrition information that perhaps closely, but not all that accurately, reflected what was being served on the menu to display in the cafeteria. I’m all for posting nutrition information, but it is a serious hot button for me when people post false nutrition information. I just figure, why bother if you’re not going to calculate it CORRECTLY? Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes practice. Yes, it takes some understanding of ingredients, tedious measuring, and all of that…but, there’s no sense in putting out information that’s not accurate.
::stepping off soapbox::
Then, when you display correct nutrition information – it can be baffling. And hotly debated. Met with criticism.
Yes, dear coworker, the salad is higher in calories than the hot dog. Even the chili dog. But, really, are you going to argue that the chili dog is a healthier alternative than a pile of fresh greens topped with healthy fats, lean protein, and fresh fruit? Ididntthinkso.
Calories are one part of the health equation and don’t get me wrong – a very important part. But, the quality of calories consumed is hugely important to consider. Similarly, be mindful of entrees that have lots of ingredients, even if healthy ones. Calories can add up rather quickly which is all the more frustrating when you pause to think, “but I thought xyz was good for me!” It is…in moderation.
This salad? It’s 1 calorie shy of 500 calories. To some, that may sound like a lot of calories, but in truth, 500 calories is pretty on-par for most people’s caloric needs, assuming a somewhat even distribution of calories among all 3 meals. That said, many restaurant salads can easily exceed other entrees with regard to calories, saturated fat, and even carbohydrate. The ever popular salad can quickly become a not-so-healthy option.
Striking that perfect balance of healthy and delicious, this BBQ Chicken Salad is tangy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious, bite after bite. There’s no doubt this recipe is a crowd pleaser.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup light ranch dressing
- ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup cilantro, lightly packed
- 6 oz mixed greens
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 oz blue corn chips or tortilla chips, crushed
- Spread half of the BBQ sauce over the bottom of a small slow cooker, Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of the crock pot and top with remaining BBQ sauce. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until chicken easily shreds.
- To make the dressing, combine the ranch, buttermilk, lime juice, and cilantro in a small food processor or blender; mix until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, corn, and black beans. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss well. Distribute the salad among 4 plates and top with 4 ounces chicken, ¼ avocado, and ½ ounce chips. Serve immediately.
Note: If you double or triple the chicken to use in other recipes, you can cook the chicken 8 hours on low.
Weekly Menu: January 5th – 9th
- Sunday: Spicy Thai Shrimp Bowls
- Monday: Black Bean Soup with Roasted Poblano Chiles
- Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I LOVED my tennis lesson this morning! I’m no good, but it was a blast!