Entrée, Salad

Best (& Still Quite Healthy) Buffalo Chic Salad

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I stumbled upon this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs as a Super Bowl appetizer, but then was too busy with my micro homework to make this in time. If it can’t be an app, then a salad sounded light but also hearty and satisfying. I really like Skinny Taste and her healthy twists on classic and popular dishes. Naturally, she had a “Skinny” Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing to accompany. What pairs well with blue cheese dressing? Celery, carrots, cucumbers and avocado — toss that into the salad. Inspired by my Bang Bang Cauliflower, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites sounded like a natural addition to the metals. It all comes together even better than imagined. I had my coworkers jealous of my lunch. Seriously, Chris wanted to steal it. Get yours jealous too with the Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Ingredients (makes 4 salads with dressing w/ meatballs to spare).

For the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (makes 16-18 meatballs):

  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1/8 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t minced garlic
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1/4 c hot sauce

For the Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing (makes 1 c):

  • 3/4 c fat free plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ T white vinegar
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 c blue cheese crumbles

For the Salad (serves 4):

  • 1 c cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 12-14 large leaves Tuscan kale, chopped (how to easily remove spines here) **
  • 2-3 c baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 c celery, chopped
  • 1/3 c carrots, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • About 16 thick cucumber slices
  • Blue cheese crumbles to garnish (optional)
  • 4 T Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing, divided
  • 12 Buffalo chicken meatballs

** NOTE: I also made this with a mix of chopped iceberg/romaine lettuce  and spinach and it was definitely preferred. Since kale is pictured and how I originally made the salad, it’s what’s listed. The iceburg/romaine gave the salad a lighter crunch and flavor, but the Greek yogurt blue cheese dressing pairs well with either.

Directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease.
  2. For the meatballs, combine ground chicken through salt in a large bowl. Mix well using clean hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll into about 1½” balls. The meatballs may be really sticky, but that’s ok! Place meatballs evenly spaced on greased baking sheet.
  3. Toss cauliflower pieces in empty space on baking sheet as well. Bake meatballs and cauliflower for 10 min, flip both to browned side if facing down and bake another 5 min or until cooked through.
  4. Once cooked, gently toss cauliflower and cooked meatballs with hot sauce until evenly coated. NOTE: I kept some plain meatballs aside to have with spaghetti squash or whatever you want to add them to.
  5. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a Magic bullet. Blend well. Set aside.
  6. While the meatballs are baking, plate the salad; first add kale and spinach (or sub chopped romaine/iceburg combination for kale). Then, top with cucumber slices, avocado, carrots and celery. Add 3 buffalo meatballs per salad and 1/4 c buffalo cauliflower. Top with 1 T blue cheese dressing (per salad) and garnish with extra blue cheese crumbles (optional).
  7. Dig in and enjoy!

Adapted from Skinny Taste‘s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs & Low Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing.

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