Chicken Taco Salad with Grilled Peaches and Creamy Chipotle Dressing

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I feel like I’m living my life in a mild time warp these days, and it’s making me very happy.

First, I’ve been shamelessly re-watching The OC while recipe testing for Dude Diet Dos, which is truly the trashiest of joys. So much teen angst, low-rise jean action, and nostalgia—I can’t seem to get enough. (For the love of God, bring back yogalates and Juicy jumpsuits!!)

I’ve also been listening to a LOT of Alanis and Pearl Jam, and this past weekend, I lived a fantasy 12-year-old Serena could only have dreamed of…doing hot yoga alongside Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey Witter). It was magical. And yes, we did have a moment after class, thank you for asking!!! He groaned/sighed loudly while the two of us were hanging our yoga mats, so I said, “It was so hot in there today!” To which he responded, “I know. I can’t take it!”

I’m not saying my roommate should be worried, but I’m not not saying that either.

The throwback theme has also been apparent in my meal choices of late, as I seem to be reverting to my longest standing comfort food favorites. When I started cooking for myself during college/the Parisian tenure, I had only a few meals in my rotation: turkey burgers, omelettes, and taco salads. The latter was more of a formula than a recipe, and its ease/versatility very much appealed to my lazy side. I’d just shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken, throw it on top of some greens with whatever other vegetables/fruits happened to be hanging out in my fridge and top it with a spicy lime-laced dressing (read: olive oil, lime juice, and hot sauce). It wasn’t the most sophisticated dinner, but it was quick, healthy, and always hit the spot when I was craving something fresh and spicy. Still does.

The great thing about the taco salad is that unlike Juicy Couture and Mischa Barton, it will never go out of style. I’ve made countless clean-out-the-fridge taco salads over the years, but summer versions are my favorite, and lately I’ve been all about this Chicken Taco Salad with Grilled Peaches and Creamy Chipotle Dressing.

Sweet and savory with a killer kick, this badass bowl has a base of arugula, crunchy purple cabbage, and cilantro, and is topped with grilled corn and peaches, shredded chicken, and a Greek yogurt-based chipotle dressing that you will likely want to drizzle on everything from this day forward. (As you should.) And since it’s light, fresh, and comes together in under 30 minutes, it fulfills all requirements for a summer weeknight meal.

I used store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe for the sake of convenience, but you could always go with some grilled cilantro-lime chicken, shrimp, or steak (the marinated flank steak from The Dude Diet would be excellent). And feel free to play around with the fruit as well. You can’t go wrong with grilled pineapple, and I think fresh watermelon would be delightful. As always, you must do you.

I look forward to making this taco salad tonight this weekend while wearing a romper from 2008 and patiently waiting for Seth and Summer to get back together. That’s just how I roll now.

Weird blog lady, out.

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