Eat Smart

Mix’n Elena: Buffalo Chicken Salad

by Elena Tsonos, blogger


(Courtesy of bonelesschickenrecipe.com)

If you haven’t grown up as a vegetarian, then chances are you have probably tried buffalo wings at least once. The name “buffalo wings” has become so familiar to many of us that people may not give a second thought as to why the word “buffalo” has been attached to wings; it’s not like the hot sauce put on the wings is made from a buffalo! Well, then here is your moment of enlightenment—those spicy wings that you order at most American-style restaurants are called “buffalo wings” because they were invented in nearby Buffalo, NY. It’s such a simple explanation, yet perhaps many did not know that.

Since the first frying, buffalo wings have become increasingly popular among Americans. You can eat buffalo wings bone-in or boneless. Today, they are prepared in more ways than one; no longer is the traditional frying of breaded wings that are tossed in hot sauce the only way to eat buffalo wings. In addition, buffalo wings have been incorporated into recipes more creatively than just in sandwiches and atop pizza; today, many people enjoy buffalo chicken casserole, buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese, buffalo chicken dip, and even buffalo chicken pasta. While all of these concoctions sound completely tasty, it is buffalo chicken salad that really puts a healthy spin on the normal less healthy fried buffalo wings. This brings us to today’s featured recipe- Buffalo Chicken Salad, featured on Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. Click ahead for the recipe!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches
  • 2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 package, 3/4 to 1 pound, chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Combine lettuce, carrots and celery in a salad bowl. Combine ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles in a small bowl.
  • Add oil and butter to hot pan with the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 or 3 minutes, then add hot sauce. Reduce heat a little and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Toss salad with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top salad with Buffalo chicken and serve.

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Rachel Ray’s recipe is easy and only takes a whopping eight minutes to cook! It yields four servings, so there will be enough to bring to a small gathering to watch the next sports game, or as leftovers for lunch the next day. The buffalo wings atop the lettuce and celery and tossed in the ranch-blue cheese dressing will really remind you of eating the buffalo wings straight from the fry-o-later- except they aren’t fried! In fact, because the buffalo wings are seared and then cooked in the buffalo sauce, a lot of fat is knocked out of the wings that you would have consumed had you eaten traditional fried buffalo wings. If you aren’t a huge fan of ranch (or blue cheese) dressing, I recommend topping your salad with some extra hot sauce, while still mixing the blue cheese into the salad. If you’re looking for some more vegetables to toss in, red onions and grape tomatoes make tasty additions! Croutons, or mozzarella cheese (instead of blue cheese) would also be complimentary ingredients to toss into the salad.

This salad is both interesting and mouth-watering. It will truly remind you of eating those traditional fried buffalo wings, and will probably even take away the cravings! The only difference is that the buffalo wings are atop a delicious and healthy salad.

Try out the recipe and don’t forget to comment back to leave your opinion. Remember to watch out for next week’s featured recipe.

Mix’n Elena says, “It’s all in a day’s mix!”

 

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