Friday, December 30, 2016

Copycat Wendy's Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Recently, I have been on the road and in need of finding a quick meal off the expressway.  And I have found myself enjoying a salad at Wendy's.  It is their Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad, and at 450 calories, it is tasty and fairly healthy treat.  I have had it enough times that I reached my inevitable conclusion..."I can make this myself, and it will be cheaper and better."

So here is my version, which is slightly different for a few reasons.  I mix in iceberg lettuce and spinach.  I think the Wendy's version uses romaine.  I think my version has more quinoa.  I do not have roasted peppers in mine, but I do use a roasted red pepper hummus.  

Speaking of hummus - that is one of my 2 most favorite things about this salad.  The hummus is the dressing - I never add any dressing on top of this.  Also, the salad uses feta cheese.  Love feta!!!

My nutrition info is based on the quantities of what I use.  Feel free to adjust.

This meal as I make it comes out to just over 450 calories, and with lots of protein for staying power for your afternoon!

If you are on a low carb plan - watch the count here.  With the beans and quinoa, you get a fair number of carbs.  On days I eat this, I usually lighten my carb count on breakfast and dinner.

Ingredients:
3 oz grilled chicken
12 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 cup spinach, chopped
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Made in Nature brand Ancient Grain Fusion Southwestern blend quinoa
1 oz red onion, chopped
2 tbsp roasted red pepper hummus
2 tbsp reduced fat feta cheese

Instructions: (listed as a series of pointers)
1. To grill the chicken, I do not use oil.  I like to spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and then sauté the red onion.  I then add the chicken and cook it until done.  Sometimes I add the tomatoes in after the onions and they also get sautéed. 
2. The beans can be warm or cold.  Sometimes I add these to the pan or nuke them briefly.  You can also use other beans, or omit the beans, which I do sometimes.
3. Chop up the spinach and lettuce to your liking.  I like to chop it up pretty fine.
4. The quinoa blend I use is from an organic market in town.  It's one of those bag blends that you microwave for 1 minute and it is ready.  I use half a packet in my salad.  It is 130 calories for this 1 cup portion.  You can use any kind of quinoa, or even cut it out of your recipe, which I do sometimes.
5. You can use plain hummus as well and it tastes great too!  Or roast red peppers separately.  I have recently made my own hummus and seasoned it with garlic and cumin, then used it for this salad.

Below are several pictures that will also show you some variations of this basic recipe.  The nutrition info at the bottom is based off the recipe as shown above.
This is the original salad - hard to see the lettuce/spinach but it's in there!
Now you can see the lettuce!
Another close up view of the original salad.
A variation of the recipe - using a black quinoa/black bean blend.
No tomatoes in this one.
The possibilities are endless.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 457
Fat: 15 g
Carbs: 57 g
Protein: 45 g

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