Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Houston’s Grilled Chicken Salad

One of my favorite things to do as a teenager was drive into Houston for shopping and lunch with my mom. We’d head to Rice Village to try on shoes and pretty dresses, mostly from the sales racks. Sometimes, if we weren’t ready to stop shopping and lunch was nowhere in sight, mom would ply me with a mocha frappuccino, a clever substitute for a meal in a pinch. I was about 14 when mom started realizing I tend to get a smidge edgy if I haven’t eaten in a few hours. Yes, edgy is the word I should be described as. Bitchy is just plain mean. Even if it is accurate.
Houston's Grilled Chicken Salad

One of our favorite places to reverse my mood swing was Houston’s restaurant, particularly for their Grilled Chicken Salad. It took moving across the country three times to realize this place was a chain. I just thought every city had a restaurant named after it and ours was particularly good.

Our favorite thing on the menu was always the Original Grilled Chicken Salad. Never had it? Well, to sum up, it smells of limes and tastes like heaven. Plus there are a bunch of crispy fried tortilla strips on the top which can confuse your brain and make you think you’re eating nachos instead of salad. Nothing wrong with that. I swiped this from the Secret Recipe blog, which recreates the ingredients in chain restaurant’s most popular dishes. If I was spending the day in Houston, I’d take my mom to Houston’s. But since we’re separated by a few states, the least I can do is send her the recipe.

Houston’s Original Grilled Chicken Salad
1 bag mixed salad greens
1 large carrot, julienne cut
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
thin tortilla strips

Lime Dressing                                    Peanut Sauce: 
1/2 cup lime juice                               4 tbsp soy sauce
7 tbsp honey                                      4 tbsp hot water
      4 tsp honey mustard                           4 tbsp peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, minced                       2 tsp sesame oil
           tsp black pepper                              1 tbsp ground ginger
                                                       1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl, combine the lime dressing ingredients and mix well. In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, carrots, sliced chicken and tortilla strips (I baked mine). Pour the lime dressing over the salad and toss to combine.  Transfer the salad to 4 salad plates. In another bowl, combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce and mix well. Drizzle each salad with the peanut sauce and serve.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmoms, soon-to-be moms, and want-to-be-moms. And a big Texas-sized hug to my lil’ mama, who means more to me than she’ll ever know.

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • jess
    Aww, I love the photo on the left of you and your mom! You showed that pic to me way back in high school and I remember I couldn’t believe how curly your hair was. Your mom is lucky to have you as a daughter!
  • Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane
    At least your mum bought you a frappucino, when I went shopping with me we’d just skip lunch altogether, and then I’d make up for the groggyness by taking advantage of the extra shopping time and buying more clothes :D Happy mothers day!
  • gabrielle
    lol, my mother also tried to tie me over with frappucinos. i become zombie-like when my sugar is low, and i mean the type of zombie that is ready for brains. xxoo
  • victoria | vmac+cheese
    Oh HELL yes. Houston’s = my fave restaurant growing up. Except, did you know they closed many of the locations nationwide, including the one in Austin? The one here in SF they re-named ‘Hillstone.’ But it’s basically still a Houston’s. Best steak ever: the Houston’s Hawaiian. I also loved their bleu cheese dressing and am still a sucker for their Caesar salads. They make the croutons using cornbread. Yum.
  • Joanne
    Haha I definitely DO get bitchy when I haven’t eaten in a while. Yet my mother still hasn’t quite realized that she should do whatever she can to avoid that. :P This salad looks delicious! The peanut sauce especially…sounds fantastic!
  • alison@MyLittleHappyPlace
    Mouth-watering now. Thanks. ;)
    Will have to scope out the secret recipe link, though!
    Jenn, I am exactly the same. I even go completely quiet when I haven’t had a a bite to eat for more than 2/3 hrs! Salad looks yum, perfect for the hot weather we’re having. I have to say your mum looks like a total supermodel in that pic on the left! Hope you’re well.
  • Taylor Sterling
    Girl I feel you. Love this! Looks yummy.
  • Jennifurla
    Hi it’s Jennifer from Indigo’s Spectrum…Homemade is so super good, they were very “vanilla” tasting which is in my opinion much better. I have made them once and they are not to difficult – you just need a stand mixer for sure.