Looking for a non-meat alternative to bring to your neighborhood potluck dinner? Sure you could bring pasta salad – but doesn’t everybody bring that as a non-meat side dish?
I wanted to bring something that didn’t have any mayo or dairy and could therefore sit on the buffet line without me worrying about inadvertently giving my neighbors food poisoning!
Consider making my version of southwestern chicken salad.
A quick internet search will reveal lots of different recipes for southwestern chicken salad. The unifying ingredients seem to be corn, black beans, and red peppers.
I used those ingredients, but also added sautéed Vidalia onions (preferable to my taste buds to raw onions), celery for crunch, avocado for its rich, silky taste, and Beyond Meat’s Chicken-Free Strips – Southwest Style for protein. I like them because they have grill marks, but I find the long strips a bit unwieldy. So, after a very brief sauté with the Vidalia onions (no more than 2 minutes), I let them cool and then cut each strip into 1/2-inch cubes. I made a zesty vinaigrette with 2 limes, 1/2 lemon, olive oil, cilantro, parsley, cumin, ponzu, Old Bay, salt, pepper, and a little hot sauce. Of course, I add the avocado to the salad right before serving so that it keeps its fresh green appearance (doused, of course, with a little lime juice and salt to keep the flavors bright!)
I also used Obsession sweet corn, which is a popular mixed white/yellow variety at my local farmers market, so that there is more color in the salad. Since there were already two pasta salads on the buffet line, I’m sure glad that I made something completely different!