Happy first Monday of Summer!
And it’s a great Monday at that! Mikey gets today and tomorrow off because his studio decided they’re all working too hard. That means we get a four day weekend together—whoo-hoo! We’re going to drop the puppers off at daycare and go see a movie (probably How to Train Your Dragon 2 or 22 Jump Street). I haven’t been to the movie theater in ages. Um, and yes…our dog goes to daycare. He’s a rescue with some serious anxiety issues so he doesn’t do the best left alone. And when I say “doesn’t do the best,” I mean we left him home once for three hours to see a movie and the neighbors called the cops because he was barking and sprinting around the house the entire time and they thought something was wrong. Sooooo yeah. He needs a sitter.
But, let’s have a little chat about this salad. If you guessed the name was just a poor attempt at a spinoff of a very popular chain restaurant salad, you’re very correct. This is a Chili’s copycat Quesadilla Explosion Salad. Well, kind of a copycat… It’s missing a few things, but it was definitely inspired by my favorite high school hangout’s salad. Chili’s was like my favorite place to go after school with my friends for lunch. It’s hard to beat free chips and salsa. Plus, their chips are like impossibly thin and addictive.
I used to be full-on obsessed with the Quesadilla Explosion Salad. And I mean until only last month I was. Not having a Chili’s anywhere in Seattle only made me yearn for the salad more. Buuuut when I was home last month getting sinus surgery, I went there with my little sister and got my beloved salad and it was….bad. Like really bad. The lettuce was wilted, the dressing tasted weird, and the quesadillas were, I think, fried. Who fries quesadillas?!
My version, however, is super delicious, like my teenage memories of Quesadilla Explosion Salad (with perfectly griddled quesadillas *drool*).
Chopped romaine, bell pepper, green onion, skillet-toasted fresh Summer corn, tomato, and cilantro are all tossed in a homemade orange vinaigrette. I would have thrown in some black beans, too, but the can I thought I had in my pantry didn’t actually exists. I hate when that happens.
Anyway, the salad is topped with crushed tortilla chips, some simple grilled chicken, and the crowning glory—ooey gooey pepper jack quesadillas. It’s kinda the best. It’s also really easy to throw together, and I think you’re going to love it as much as I do 😀