Friday, July 19, 2013

Chopped Salad with Tina Radcliffe!

Missy, here. Posting this ahead of time as I'm in Atlanta for the Romance Writers of America National Conference. Today is a crazy busy day, including a Harlequin book signing, lunch with my Senior Editor, a Love Inspired Meet & Greet with authors and editors, the RITA and Golden Heart reception sponsored by RWA, and a Harlequin Pre-party event for RITA finalists as well as milestone achieving authors. And all that is followed by the big fancy party Harlequin hosts for their authors, this year being held at the Ritz-Carlton (I'll share photos of spectacular desserts next week!).

Knowing my head would be spinning, Tina graciously offered to cover for me. Thank you, Tina! Now, here's her amazing recipe...

Chopped Salad with Tina Radcliffe

1 head iceberg lettuce (rinsed and shredded)
1 can black beans- drained
1 small can (or ½ a regular can) corn)-drained
Tortilla chips or strips about ¾ of the bag
Small can sliced black olives (2.25 oz.)-drained
Package shredded Pepper Jack Cheese ( 8 oz.)
Two chicken breasts grilled then shredded
Ranch Dressing ½ to 1 cup
Salsa ½ to 1 cup
3 tablespoons any “tangy” BBQ sauce

Mix all ingredients right before you serve, including shredding salad. If you are taking it somewhere then wait to add the chips and stir in with a wooden spoon breaking them up right before you serve.


-- Early in the day wash the lettuce and dry well and store in zip bags or a covered bowl to chill in the fridge.
--Drain and rinse the beans or they make the salad overly soggy.
--You can grate your own cheese, but be warned, Pepper Jack is soft so this is rather tedious
--Some palates prefer the chips layered on top but I like mine mixed in and moist.
--I have also used Tyson frozen Southwestern chicken strips which I microwave and add.
--Vegetarians, this tastes great without the chicken.
--I like my salad very moist and add the full 1 cup of Salsa and salad dressing

That’s it! Enjoy.

Tina Radcliffe writes heartwarming and humorous romances for Love Inspired. Her latest release is Mending the Doctor’s Heart. You can find her at


  1. I love chopped salads. I hate struggling with huge chunks of anything, so chopped works for me! I love making this, my family loves it, they die for the "chips" mixed or on top, and I just leave those off mine to keep the carb count in line.

    Like Tina, I like the extra dressing. And I like to use Cabot's Seriously Sharp or Vintage Cheddar cheese because we like a cheese with serious bite, but when I don't have that I use the 4-cheese Mexican blend pre-shredded in bags. And it's awesome!

    And I totally over-the-top loved "Mending the Doctor's Heart"... What a delightful story, Tina! Still smiling whenever I think about it!

  2. This looks so good, Tina! What's not to love about tortilla chips?! :)

    Ruthy, I love Cabbot cheddar. I buy the one that's low fat-- like 75% less calories. Really tasty.

    1. I love their cheeses!!!!!

      Happy almost Rita Day!!!!

  3. Love this! Matter of fact, I just might have to make this for dinner. Thanks, Tina!

  4. Pepper Jack is bite enough for me. This is a nice cool and easy to make recipe when temps are hanging around 107 in Arizona. Like today for example.

    1. Pepper Jack is a great bite! But I can't eat it. Dave loves it. So he gets the pepper Jack... because his gut is about as insensitive as my nature!

      But I have to use the cheddar because my silly, stupid, sensitive stomach can't handle peppers in anything. I love pepper cheese....

      But I have to go low-key.

  5. 107? Shudder. Is it true that dry heat is easier to handle than humidity? We've had a wretched time with heat and humidity here. It makes me

    Never heard the term chopped salad before -- is that just because everything is in bite-sized pieces? I'll definitely try the vegetarian version of this recipe. I need to get more adventurous with my salad making.

    And Tina, I can't count how many times I've made your oatmeal cookie recipe! Everyone LOVES it and I've handed it out to tons of people. I've become the cookie goddess of the block. :-)

    1. 107 is hot, no matter how you look at it. But still, I'll take dry heat over humidity ANY DAY. Humidity + heat makes me feel like dying.

      I'm so glad we live in a semi-arid climate :)

  6. Oh, and Missy, have a wonderful day!!!!!!!!

  7. Thanks, Kav. They lie around here and quip that dry heat is so much better. It is. Until you get over 100. Weird to see it raining like crazy but it evaporates before it hits the ground. Quite a site.

  8. I'm convinced that hot is hot but Tina and I decided that our lives are just mirror image/summer and winter now. I get more housebound in the winter... she gets more housebound in the summer.

    And spring and fall are nice both places!

  9. Exactly. So I learn to make casseroles in the morning before the house heats up. And salads. Lots of salads.

  10. I do a "summer kitchen" on the porch. Like old times. I have a table out there and I keep a big roaster out there... one of those portable ones, and I do my frying in the garage and the grill has three burners/ wait, four, and a side burner for cooking.

    We don't have air except window units in a couple of rooms, and if we heat up the house with cooking, the little ones suffer. So not much baking in the summer.

    But then I get stupid and make up for it in the winter by EATING....

    But there's something magical (and habitual) about eating comfort food when it's cold out.

  11. This sounds delicious....and perfect for our patio lunches with our 90 to 100 degree days. Hubby want to eat more salads this summer (yay!) so I'll be fixing this one. Interesting to use BBQ sauce in the dressing. Not sure about the chips mixed in...but I'll try that. :) Thanks, Tina!

  12. I love southwest salads, and this is one I can prep ahead of time and then put together for a quick lunch. Win/win!

  13. This is a yummy left over snack too!