Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicken, Cheddar and Cornbread Salad with Homemade Ranch

When my sister Heidi and I were both pregnant with our boys in New York, I told you that we had daily cravings for chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars. What I didn't tell you was that in between our sweet treats, we'd cleanse the palate with a cool and refreshing cornbread salad. And what I also didn't mention was that it was the middle of February. In icy upstate New York. But we didn't care about such trivial things. (Our husbands were probably wishing for stew, but were smart enough to defer.) I'm never greedier for good food then when I'm pregnant, and the dropping thermometer wasn't going to interfere with my cravings, no sir. As much as I love this salad, now, 100 percent unpregnant, I save it for the golden summer months. And that time is now! Make some before it's time for apple crisps and PTA meetings and Trapper-Keeper folders. I promise that you'll love it, pregnant or 100 percent not.

Money Saving Tips: Plan on making this delectable salad as a way to use up some leftovers. Being creative with your leftovers is a practical way to save your food money, as well as your valuable time. Almost any kind of chopped leftover chicken will work well-even barbecued chicken. And of course, in the starring role is the leftover cornbread. Cut any leftover cornbread into 1 inch cubes and store them in the freezer for making this salad. Never, ever, ever throw out any cornbread. Hoard it for salads in the summer and for stuffing in fall and soup croutons in the winter. I've made this salad with from-scratch cornbread and from cornbread mixes as well, and loved them both, but Ina Garten's cornbread recipe is particularly toothsome here.

Chicken, Cheddar and Cornbread Salad with Homemade Ranch
Estimated Cost: $8.00
Notes: This is so versatile you could almost swap anything. The essential things are the cornbread and the ranch.
8 cups salad greens (I used romaine)
2 cups cornbread cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped fully cooked chicken (I used plain poached again)
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen thawed
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion or scallions
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Homemade Buttermilk Ranch (scroll down for recipe)
Layer the above ingredients in the order listed on four individual plates. Drizzle with Ranch and serve.
Coming Tomorrow:
Chocolate Chip Cookie "Pizookies"

28 comments:

Lore said...

Now, I'd surely like to clease my palate with such a delicious salad! I've never used cornbread in salads but it does sound like a delicious idea and would make it more filling.

Marie said...

Catching up on both entries here Erin. That is one mighty good looking salad! I love bread in salads! I Love bread salads! I love salad! I love food! Yours is some of the tastiest I've seen and also quite economical! You go girl!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I've never had cornbread in a salad before! I'm also 100% unpreagnant, so I'm thinking this will be great for these hot day's we're having now.

Beth said...

It making me hungry just looking at it. Ive never tried making cornbread before - I know its really easy but have never got around to it. Im going to have to give it a try

gigi said...

I love me some cornbread! I eat salads all the time. Now this is going to be interesting to combine the two, but I'm up for it! Another great one here.

Jeena said...

This looks so good, it is s great way to use cornbread up. I sure could eat this in winter. :-)

Shreya said...

looks filling and healthy!

Megan said...

Corn bread is one of my all time favorite foods and with produce at its peak, this is a great time to make this dish. Thanks for the recipe!

Megan of Bit of Nutmeg

Mary Ann said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy. You just keep em coming. This looks perfect for a summer's night and with that homemade ranch, everyone is sure to love it!

Nickki said...

I'm drooling over this, seriously!! I will be trying this recipe next time I have leftover chicken. can't wait to see the chocolate chip pizookies tomorrow (I don't know what they are but they sound great!) :)

1freshstart said...

Oh, that sounds so good right now and it's only 8:30 in the morning! I have some leftover cornbread too! I love that you always write about down-to-earth things... just made better.
Trapper Keepers! oh you crack me up... do they still make those?
~The Cat's Pajamas

taffi said...

oh dear. my stomach actually growled reading that. I need to remember to eat breakfast before I read your blog!

The DeL Sisters said...

I have made something similar to this before, its so good I agree!

sliceofsueshe said...

I love making salads with whatever's in the fridge.

I'm going to have to check out that cornbread recipe.

Jenny said...

Looks mighty tasty Prudy. What a finger licking combination!

Catherine said...

I have LO cornbread sitting on my kitchen counter, and now I know just what to do with it!

The Blonde Duck said...

My darling Prudy, I do believe you've stolen my Texan heart. Or you're a surrogate Texan yourself.

I'm so glad you liked my story! For the past few weeks I've been in a tizzy researching and working to start creating the Blond Duck press to produce all my little stories for folks to look at. Your support is what keeps me going! I can't wait to see what your little girl thinks of it. I'll be waiting in anticipation while I munch on your salad (I loveee cornbread. And chicken. And cheddar. And ranch.)

Candy said...

Looks delicious! I'll be trying this for sure!

Candy

Amy said...

I LOVE salad!! I've got so much lettuce in the garden. We are eating it every night. My family is going to love this new way to serve it:)

Sara said...

What a creative salad. I love this, and can't wait to try it!

Bridgett said...

So would you finish up the cleansing with another round of the chocolate bars? ;)
What a fantastic idea to use cornbread in the salad. I may have to try that next time. It looks delicious, but then I love just about any salad.

Aggie said...

Ooooh...cornbread in a salad with ranch dressing. This looks good!!! I love anything that can use up leftovers.

Sophie said...

This is a dish that would definitely be fun to eat :). I love anything with cornbread, and the fact that it's packed with so much flavor and veggies makes me love it even more. So creative! It looks like it'd make a great party lunch dish!

The Blonde Duck said...

To Sailor--

I'd be happy to send you some more. I'll dig some up for you this weekend. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Natashya said...

Looks like a great summer salad, it would probably go great with bbqed ribs!
Cheers.

Michal said...

i hereby change our menu for tomorrow night's dinner. good thing i have all these ingredients, because i won't make it through the weekend without having prudy's cornbread salad. it looks sooooo yummy.

Bren@Flanboyant Eats said...

i'll take all of this salad minus the ranch... nice work. beans in a salad always work!

Megan said...

I just made the ranch dressing for dinner tonight--delish! I used cilantro as my fresh herb as choice and we just drank it up! YUM.