Hey, hey, guess what??? I made yummy, yummy salad today!
It seems like I always forget how incredibly colorful, fun, and delicious salads are until I make them. Do you have foods like that too? The truth is that I haven’t been making them nearly often enough recently (try almost never). I don’t know, I guess it’s because it’s winter where I live and the cold rainy weather doesn’t exactly make you crave piles of fresh fruits and veggies but that’s still no excuse for ignoring them like I have been.
I decided a few days ago that I really needed to stop being such a loser and start making more salads and you know what, it’s insane how many ideas you can come up with to add to one. I’d say it’s probably the broadest food category there is and, with my indecisiveness, this isn’t always a good thing because I end up wanting to throw anything and everything into one bowl.
I did my best to focus my enthusiasm and not give you a salad with 447 ingredients here but I did discover a new favorite topping to add. Did you know that something magical happens when you fry bacon and toast nuts in the same pan! Also, would it make me sound like a serial killer if I ran around shouting that I love to roast things? Probably yes, but it’s true. The roasted red pepper hummus is everything!
All right, this salad is pretty simple you guys and definitely worth making. If you are wanting to get it done even faster you could skip making the hummus and use your favorite brand or just add a totally different dressing like ranch or vinaigrette. Honestly, the hummus was not initially going to be a part of this salad because I had made it to go with another recipe that I’m sharing soon (something fried!)……..but um, I didn’t get any pictures before my photos subjects for that recipe all got devoured, oooops. I had plenty of extra hummus left though.
So there I was making salads and trying to choose what to add and there’s a huge thing of lonely hummus in my fridge begging for the job. Besides, I really love hummus on salads for a few different reasons. Mostly because it adds extra fiber and protein along with being a killer salad dressing, but also because it’s just so thick and creamy! This particular hummus with the roasted pepper is probably my new favorite too. So good!
Okey doke, so there really isn’t much else that I need to say about this salad because that’s one of the best things about them to begin with, simplicity. Yeah, I think that’s it so go make some salad!
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 8 strips uncooked bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 small)
- 1 tablespoon worchestershire
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium avocado, sliced or cubed
- 1 large apple, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
- 6 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- Preheat oven (a small toaster is great if you've got one) to 400 degrees F (200 C) and line a small baking tray with foil. Place the red pepper on tray and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil then roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until it starts to look shriveled and gets dark spots. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle it.
- Remove the stem and seeds and place the pepper in a food processor or blender along with the other ingredients for the hummus and pulse until smooth. Set hummus aside until ready to serve salads.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces with a very sharp knife and place in a medium frying pan with lid. Cook over medium high heat for about 2 minutes then add the pecans and stir constantly with the bacon until crispy, watch carefully not to burn the nuts. Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper then use a slotted spoon to scoop mixture onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve pan for chicken.
- Now place the chicken breasts in the pan and drizzle with worchestershire and liquid smoke. Place back over medium high heat and cover. Cook breasts on each side for 3 to 4 minutes until completely cooked. Season with additional salt and pepper and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Toss the ingredients together and divide into 4 large bowls. Slice the chicken breasts and place on top then add your desired amount of hummus and the bacon/pecan mixture.