So I am obsessed with the Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad at California Pizza Kitchen. When Caitlin Skyped me from Thailand to tell me she was going vegan one of my first responses was, "What about CPK?" It was a devastating blow to hear that she and I could no longer split the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad and the BBQ Chicken Pizza (can you tell I love BBQ Chicken...really its BBQ sauce which is in my top 5 favorite foods). Anyway if you haven't had it, this salad is amazing. It has sweet corn, black beans, jicama, cilantro, basil, tortilla strips and Monterey Jack tossed in homemade herb ranch dressing. Topped with BBQ chicken, tomatoes and scallions (add Avocado for an additional charge).
Throughout college (before Caitlin was vegan) we tried to recreate this salad on many occasions. One time I went as far as Googling copycat recipes for the salad dressing and made it. Since then I have come up with a simplified version of the salad that used to be a go-to meal. We don't eat salads that often since Phillip is not a fan of salad dressings (or any condiments for that matter) but the other day I decided it was time to have this. Obviously I had to come up with a chicken substitution so I thought we should give seitan a try because he had not used it yet in any of our recipes. All I did was cut up all the veggies, heat up the seitan on the stove then toss it in a store bought BBQ sauce before assembling the salads. I always drizzle Ranch dressing and a little extra BBQ sauce then sprinkle with cilantro before serving. It definitely satisfies my craving and saves me a trip to CPK!
P.S. If you haven't used seitan before I highly recommend it. I like the taste of it before even dousing it in the BBQ sauce. The texture was great which is always my biggest issue when it comes to tofu or fake meats. I will definitely be using seitan a lot more in the future.
CPK Copycat BBQ Chik'n Chopped Salad
- Lettuce (amount depends on how big of a salad you want)
- 1/2 a tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup corn (I used canned)
- 1/2 cup black beans (strained and rinsed)
- 1/2 jicama (I subbed cucumber this time because we already had some in the fridge)
- 1 avocado
- 1 package of seitan
- BBQ Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Tortilla chips (for garnish)
- Cilantro (for garnish)
- Monterrey Jack cheese (we used mozzarella, again, because we had it on hand)
1. Dice the tomato, jicama, and avocado.
2. Heat seitan in a skillet (only takes a minute or two), toss with BBQ sauce and season with salt, pepper (as needed) and some dried cilantro.
3. Assemble the salads (lettuce, tomato, jicama, beans, corn, seitan and avocado). Drizzle salad with Ranch Dressing and extra BBQ sauce (if desired).
4. Top with crushed tortilla chips and a some cilantro.