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Friday, April 8, 2011

One salad, coming up. Chop-chop.

I moved to my current town about 10 years ago, and when I did we had a double income, and no kids. In other words, I ate at restaurants a heck of a lot more often than I do these days.

I came from a fabulous city on the beach where there were more than a fair share of ethnic restaurants of every kind, and I came to a city 50 miles inland, where there are chain restaurants and barbecue places. (It has gotten a bit better in the past 10 years. I'll be okay.) I went from being spoiled to being petulant.

One thing I noticed at the time was that all of a sudden, every restaurant happened to offer a "barbecue chopped salad." I am not sure if that was the case everywhere in the United States at the time, or the town I moved to. This town has more than it's fair share of barbecue restaurants, mind you.

I like to think that the barbecue chopped salad originated in New Mexico. I imagine that people in New Mexico eat black beans and corn with every meal. I have never been to New Mexico, but I am sure it must be true.

Whether this salad came from New Mexico or my little city here; whether it is a local thing or a thing of its era, this salad seems to be in every restaurant around me.

I love it. It has enough protein and fiber to be a meal, lots of nutrition, and enough different ingredients to keep it interesting enough to eat often.

The only problem is that 2 of 3 little guys around here won't touch a salad with a 10-foot pole. That is a hurdle that I plan to overcome someday. Just not yet.

Last night I was attending a fundraiser for breast cancer, and I knew that there would be pizza available for the kids. Since they were all taken care of with their favorite dinner, I took the chance before we went out, to enjoy one of my own favorite dinners too.

In case you live in a remote corner of the United States where they don't have a barbecue chopped salad, it is:
black beans
green onions
cheddar cheese
grilled chicken

tossed with ranch dressing and barbecue sauce