You're invited to a pot luck and need to bring enough to serve 8-10 people, what to make? Pot lucks can be tricky events. Some try to divvy out the requirements by suggesting a certain portion of the alphabet (by last name) bring sides, main dish and desserts. I always despise alphabetical ordering because I am inevitably a dessert maker with my last name starting with "V". While I enjoy making desserts, it gets boring after a while to continuously be the brownie maker.
This time, it was a "free for all" and I could choose to make a side or a dessert -- the main dish was already taken care of. I was excited because I wanted to make a side that was also suitable as a main because I have been working on cutting down on the calories. I decided that I would put together a LARGE salad filled with veggies and of course some protein to make the meal complete.
Kathy's Salad with Fried Chicken and Light Ranch Dressing
6 pieces of fried chicken, cold and cut up into bite sized pieces -- I used a box I bought at the deli kiosk at the grocery store
3 heads of Romaine, washed, dried and chopped
1 med. Red Onion, sliced
1/2 cup of baby carrots, chopped
1 large cucumber
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 container of grape tomatoes, rinsed and drained
Mix all the ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Top with Kathy's Easy Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
Kathy's Easy Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup buttermilk substitute
1 c. light mayonnaise
1/2 c. light sour cream
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp. dried chives
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper corns
2 tbs sugar (optional -- if you light a bit sweeter dressing)
Combine the mayonnaise and sour cream in a medium sized bowl; slowly whisk in the buttermilk substitute; add in your spices and herbs until well combined; chill for at least 30 min. before using.
(To make the buttermilk substitute, combine slightly less than 1 cup of lowfat milk with 1 tbs of white vinegar; allow to sit for 5 min. Stir and use whatever amount your recipe calls for in place of buttermilk.)
Since this was a potluck meal, I will have to judge whether this was a success by how much of this salad was left at the end of the dinner -- NONE!!! Huge hit with all who had a sampling.
Who doesn't like fried chicken? Mix it sparingly into a luscious bed of greens and veggies topped with a homemade light ranch dressing and you have a winning combination. I will definitely make this main dish salad again for a quick and easy summer meal.
Remember: Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. (Lk 6:21)