One of my favorite salads ever is a barbecue grilled chicken over greens with veggies and ranch dressing. Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen both make amazing, if not high in fat and money, versions. Since I had leftover chicken from last night, I decided to take a break from the pb&j monotony. I happened to have a little bit (read: only enough for one person) of green leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, leftover corn and ranch dressing.
I started making it in a bowl and realized that when I get a salad at a restaurant, it often comes on a plate. I think, mentally, if I fill a dinner plate with salad I will feel more like I am eating a real meal, not just salad. So the bowl went away and the dinner plate came out. I added the greens, tomatoes, corn and chicken and threw on a few croutons. I drizzled a little bit of bbq sauce and then ranch dressing on top of the salad. It looked beautiful and not much different than ones I have had in a restaurant except maybe half the size. They always throw more ingredients in, but I am not sure that makes it tastier. Well, maybe some black beans would have improved it a little. By the end of my salad, I was satisfied and there was barely any dressing on my plate. I am so used to having pools of dressing sitting in the bowl or plate when I am finished that I was a little surprised. But you know what? It tasted better and crisper without all that extra dressing weighing the lettuce down. I think next time I will nix the croutons with this salad.