Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad

Today marks Day 12 (Cycle1) of the 17 Day Diet, woot hoot! I declined going to "Uncorked" a wine tasting event tonight with my cousin Christine because of the diets' strict rules about no alcohol in the first 17 days. If I went to this event I doubt I would be able to resist the temptation of sampling wines. She was disappointed that I didn't go but luckily she understood why and didn't give me too hard of a time. Some may call my decision not to go great will or dedication, I say it stinks!

So instead of going to the wine tasting event I did something even more fun….I invited one of my best friends over for dinner who I haven't seen in a while…Trisha. I've known Trisha for almost 35 years…ooooh, I just got goosebumps saying that. It's hard to believe I've known her for that long. We first met in middle school and instantly clicked. Here we are today, 45 years old, and just as close. We may not see each other all the time but when we do it's like we just talked yesterday. Nothing is better than spending quality time with a dear friend of so long who knows everything about your past and present. There is great comfort in that. So we reminisced, caught up and gossiped the whole night…just like we did as teenagers. But instead of doing this over pigging out on pizza and junk food like we did as kids, we pigged out on Chicken and Chile Taco Salad! Trust me, we didn't even miss the pizza our meal was so good.

Before Trisha came over I warned her that I was making a 17 Day Diet friendly meal. She laughed and said "Hey, that's totally fine. I know what ever you make will be delicious." As teenagers and early college Trisha and I would go to Chi Chi's Restaurant all the time. We loved it there. We sit for hours talking munching on nacho chips and salsa. I wish they never closed because those nachos and salsa were the absolute best. We'd probably downed 3 baskets of nachos easily back then…and never gained an ounce. So for tonight I wanted to make a meal like we were back at Chi Chi's. So I made Chicken and Chile Taco Salads. I had nachos and salsa on the side for her. We'd normally have a margarita along with our mexican food, but no alcohol or sugar for me. So we had water and green tea instead!

The Chicken and Chile Taco Salad was amazing. I served a salsa dressing over the top which consisted of fat free salsa from a jar and a small container of plain greek yogurt. I added diced red pepper to the salad to give it a little crunch, since I wasn't able to add nachos to mine.  I made this meal 17 Day Diet friendly but you would never know it. Trisha loved it and didn't miss a lot of the extras I would have thrown in my taco salad if I wasn't keeping it ultra healthy. I even added "cauliflower rice" to the ground chicken to give it another layer of texture. It's not necessary and I only added it because I had leftovers from my Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe from a few nights before. When I'm not dieting I always add black beans, avocado, and even corn. This salad can really be whatever you want it to be so be creative with your fixings. This taco salad was so easy to toss together and it's a perfect mid week meal. It's also a meal that can be made ahead of time so you can relax before dinner. I made it a few hours before Trisha cam over and just kept it in the refrigerator. I reheated the ground chicken and chiles just before serving. That way as soon as Trisha came over I wasn't fussing with making dinner. We are able to talk and enjoy each other, uninterrupted.

Salute to having fun catching up with Trisha and pigging out on Chicken and Chile Taco Salad just like   we did in the old days at Chi Chi's!
Cycle 1, Day 12 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: A cup of hot water and fresh lemon

Breakfast: greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries and a cup of green tea.

Lunch: Chicken breast with cucumber dill salad and a cup of green tea.

Dinner: Chicken and Chile Taco Salad and a cup of green tea.

Exercise: none

impressions: So I declined a wine tasting event today and that was more disappointing as it was difficult. But I was super happy to enjoy a 17 Day Diet friendly dinner with one of my best friends. I was concerned she might be turned off by such a simple meal but it turned out it was a huge hit. I entertain quite a bit so this was the first since I started the diet that I had to alter the menu. It was much easier than I thought. As for my red shorts…they fit even better this morning…yay! Not sure how much weight I lost yet but I'm guessing 5-7 pounds. I still have 5 more days on the cycle 1 of this diet so I'm hoping to keep on loosing! I also noticed that my legs, thighs and butt are toning up too. I haven't been too religious about the exercise so I believe the toning that's happened is from eating lean and clean!  In Cycle 2, I can add more food items such as avocado, zucchini, legumes, shellfish and even pork and lean red meat. I can't wait to be able to add those foods. My recipes will love me for it. 
Chicken and Chile Taco Salad, 17 day Diet Friendly
Ground Chicken and Green Chiles are the highlights
A crisp, refreshing salad that's sure to please
The dressing is a creamy salsa 
Perfect meal to serve for 2 or twenty people
Add nachos on the side for those not on a diet
Trisha…one of my dearest and best friends!

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cups raw cauliflower rice (optional) 
  • 1 package of low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives
  • 2 tb fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fat free/salsa
  • 1 small container of plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • nachos (optional)
In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook ground chicken until cooked through. Add green chiles. Add cauliflower rice (optional) and stir. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of water and stir until blended. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large serving platter add lettuce, red pepper, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and cheese. For salsa dressing: mix salsa and yogurt together. To plate: Add lettuce mixture and top with a scoop of ground chicken, add a dollop of salsa dressing and optional to add hot sauce and nachos.

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