As much as I love meat, I really do love a good salad. But to be good it has to have a combination of textures, colors and flavors well before you add in the dressing.
To me, it also has to be easy to eat with just a fork. I get so annoyed when I go to a restaurant and they serve you a full onion slice or pieces of lettuce that are large enough to be lettuce wraps. I want to be able to easily dig into the bowl with my fork to scoop up the variety of flavors to make the perfect bite.
The base of this chopped turkey salad is chopped romaine. One romaine heart will give you about 5 loose cups of lettuce. And romaine is great, because it has tender green leaves toward the tips and crunchy white lettuce toward the root, giving you a variety of texture and color.
If you’re not already smoking turkey in the summer, consider adding it to your rotation. I like to smoke a 20-pound bird and shred some meat and chunk some meat. Then, I freeze it in quart-size bags for future meals, like this salad.
To round out the veggies, I look for additions that add color and texture. Tomatoes are going to be bright, but soft. Celery will be crispy yet mild. Whereas the red onions will provide that nice pop of color with a little bite.
Finally, the fat. You can’t leave that out, if you want a salad that still satisfies. I love avocado. When it’s mixed in, it almost melts gently coating the lettuce with richness, and the cheddar jack cheese cubes laced with a little hot pepper add a bit of heat for more depth.
Barbecue can be healthy
It can be hard to eat healthy, especially if you love eating barbecue. It’s so easy to pile up your plate with over-sauced meats and cheesy sides. But just because you love barbecue, doesn’t mean you can’t make it healthy, too.
This chopped turkey salad is a perfect example. By smoking a turkey and using it as your protein, you can create a dish with fewer calories without sacrificing that great smoky barbecue flavor.
And you don’t have to skimp on the cheese. This salad includes some cheddar jack cheese cubes and some indulgent avocados.
Part of what makes this salad so appealing is the beautiful presentation. We eat with our eyes first, after all.
So when you prepare this salad, start by adding the romaine to the bottom of the bowl. Then, layer on the veggies and cheese in rows, separating the colors so there is more contrast. Be sure to serve it to the table with this beautiful presentation before tossing it.
Then, drizzle on the dressing, give it a toss and serve. Your family or dinner guests will be impressed.
Chopped Turkey Salad with Honey Mustard
This chopped turkey salad is layered with crispy romaine, bright veggies, smoked turkey chunks and a quick homemade honey mustard dressing.