This grilled chicken cobb salad with marinated veggies has a secret… it isn’t actually made on a grill!! What?? Stay tuned…
Warmer weather has arrived and for some “normal” people, that might mean they start thinking about swimsuit shopping and getting a tan.
Me?? I immediately start thinking of how I can stay cool and do the least amount of chores (because, yanno, that ties into the whole staying cool thing). My central air is on, my hair gets pulled up into a 3 month-long ponytail and the stove pretty much doesn’t get turned on until football is back on TV.
So, we improvise with our meals in order to save money on our electric bills and keep the house cooler. Since becoming a Project Envolve ambassador, I’ve been a lot more aware of where the bulk of our energy use is coming from and how we can reduce it to save money on our monthly bill. It’s one of the few bills that you really do have some control over! It’s not set in stone and how you live in your house, will determine how much you have to spend each month!
Did you know that your kitchen accounts for 15% of your energy bill?! Most of that is from cooking food. I think so many of us are on auto-pilot and just immediately turn our stove on when it’s time to cook dinner. Take a look around your kitchen, though. I bet you’ve got lots of other ways you could prepare dinner without using the stove; a slow cooker, toaster oven, microwave, toaster, a grill outside. All ways that are more efficient and use less energy than your stovetop or oven!
For this meal, that earned rave reviews from my entire family, I used our microwave and toaster oven! It was so fast and easy and I never had to step outside into the heat!
We are a family of salad lovers, and eat them for dinner probably 2-3 times a week during the warmer months. This was the first time I grilled our meat in the microwave, and it was surprisingly delicious! I used a grill pan for the chicken, corn, tomatoes and avocados.
The chicken went in first and took about 5-6 minutes to grill.
Once it was done, I removed it from the grill pan and grilled the veggies. I had marinated the tomatoes and avocados ahead of time, but the corn just went in cut straight from the cob. The veggies took about 3-4 minutes to grill. The tomatoes tasted just like the ones you get on the sizzling fajita pans at restaurants!
I used the toaster oven to bake cornbread muffins and then chopped them up into “croutons”. We have some kids with braces and they enjoy these fresh muffin cubes better than a hard, crunchy crouton. We’ve all been eating them this way for the last couple of years and probably won’t ever go back!
I know you all know what a muffin pan looks like and what a toaster oven looks like, but I just wanted to point out how perfectly this pan fits into this space! Why turn on an entire oven, waste all that electricity and heat the house up, when you can just turn on this tiny toaster oven and get the job done just as well?!
One last bonus and then I promise, I’ll get to the recipe… when you cook more efficiently, everything becomes more efficient! You streamline the process, eliminate so many pots and pans and end up with fewer dishes to wash! Which is not only nice on your hands and your feet, but also on your water and electric usage. I’m telling you, people, it all circles back around to your electric usage. Always.
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Marinated Veggies
1 head of lettuce
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 ears of corn
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 lb. chicken tenders
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cornbread muffins, chopped into large pieces
Italian salad dressing for chicken marinade
3 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Place chicken and Italian dressing in a container in fridge and let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer you let it sit, the more flavors it will absorb.
In small container, mix olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir until they’re well-coated. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
I used a box of Jiffy cornbread mix to make my muffins at this point. I baked them in the toaster oven at 375 for about 18 minutes or until they tested done.
Follow the directions on your microwave grill pan to cook chicken. While it’s cooking, arrange lettuce on large platter. Start arranging other toppings on the lettuce.
When chicken is cooked through, add to salad platter. Using same grill pan, add tomatoes to it. Cut your avocado in half and dip in the remaining tomato marinade. Then add to grill pan. Cook according to instructions for your pan. When cornbread muffins are done, chop into rough chunks and add to salad
Arrange veggies on salad, top with favorite dressing and enjoy!!