gluten free recipes for kids



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Fresh and Tasty Mexican Crockpot Summer Salad

For my kids, today is the last day of summer!  We've been running around getting the last of the necessary school supplies, meeting the teachers and finding classrooms, and counting socks and underwear to make sure we are prepared.  Lucky for us, dinner was EASY!

Before the marathon shopping day, I threw some chicken in the slow cooker with some seasonings and made some salad dressing.  It took me 4 minutes, tops!

At 4:00,  I put on a pot of rice in the rice cooker (1 minute, tops!)

At 6:00, I chopped lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and opened a can of black beans. (5 minutes, tops!)

Then, all we had to when everyone arrived for dinner, was assemble.  Here is how it looked:

Layer 1: Tortilla

Tortilla layer Layer 2: 2 TBL Rice

Rice layer

Layer 3: Shredded lettuce

salad layer

Layer 4: Black Beans

bean layer

Layer 5: The chicken from the crockpot

chicken layer

Layer 6: Avocados and tomatoes

avocado and tomato layer

Layer 7: Creamy Dressing

Crockpot Summer Salad

These adorable neighbors loved it!

kids eating salad

I love these days as proof that even on the busiest days, you don't have to resort to eating out!  This whole meal was super easy and super fast!

The crockpot chicken recipe was

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 1/2 cup zesty Italian Dressing (or homemade zesty Italian)
  • 1/2 TBL Chili Powder
  • 1/2 TBL Cumin
  • 2 Garlic cloves

All dumped in the crockpot, and set at low for 4-5 hours.

The Dressing we made was:

  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno (optional, ours was pretty small from our garden)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lime, juiced (squeeze the juice into the mix)
  • 1 pkg Ranch Dressing seasoning (our homemade ranch seasoning is on this page)

Put everything in the blender and blend until tomatillos are completely blended.

creamy chicken taco salad dressing


Hallelujah for easy, fresh, delicious, and healthy meals!!

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Renee Mack
08/20/2012 6:30pm
yet another have to try recepie. Its the dressing that got me, sounds delicious.
08/20/2012 6:34pm
What is a tomatillo?
08/20/2012 6:36pm
They are green tomatoes... I just got them for 0.79/lb at the store!
02/06/2013 3:07pm
Actually tomatillos are not tomatoes and are not related to tomatoes. They have papery husks on them like gooseberries. They have a tangy, sour taste and are used a lot in Mexican dishes and southwestern as well.
08/20/2012 6:40pm
Thanks! I live in a small Podunk town, can never find half the good stuff or sometimes don't even know what it is! This looks good though.
08/20/2012 6:42pm
LOl.. honestly, I didn't know what they were until a few months ago, and now I see them everywhere. Ha ha.
08/20/2012 7:27pm
Thank you so much for sharing these great healthy options! Cooking is not my forte and I appreciate you sharing your gift to help others!
09/04/2012 5:33am
This looks really tasty, its nice to have a Mexican food recipe that is healthy (as long as I dont slather on the sour cream and guacamole). Looking forward to making this!
02/22/2013 9:20am
Definitely! It might not be as thick, but that's OK in a dressing!
02/22/2013 9:18am
Can I use plain yogurt instead of Greek? I've tried using Greek before and I just don't like the taste.
03/07/2013 12:24pm
I'm so trying this tonight. I just got the chicken in the crock--2pm, but we'll eat around 6 so I'm hoping that's enough time.
03/08/2013 8:13am
One of my favorite dinners! How did it turn out?
05/07/2014 8:54pm
03/25/2013 11:11am
Can't wai to try this. I'm making this tonight for dinner. I made the dressing ahead of time though and it is the best thing I've ever tasted!!
07/24/2013 9:11am
Is the tortilla baked to be crispy???
07/24/2013 10:07am
Laura- you can, but we like to cook our tortillas fresh- so they are warm, plus a bit crispy! We use the recipe here.
07/24/2013 3:40pm
Is there a ranch dresssing packet that does not contain MSG? The main brand I found has it.
07/24/2013 3:47pm
Hi Carisue- we started making our own! the recipe we follow is at the bottom of this post here:
Shelley Kaschinske
07/25/2013 6:41pm
I made this tonight.. loved by all! I was in a pinch, so topped mine with taco sauce and light ranch instead. I'll have to look for tomatillos next time I get to a bigger grocery store than mine! Thanks for another great dinner.
Jen L
08/17/2013 12:30pm
I make the chicken all the time and we all love it! I use it for the salad or for tacos, quesadillas, taco salad, etc!
05/06/2014 9:51am
Do you know the calorie count on this. Looks yummy!! I want to try it :)
05/08/2014 12:02pm
I don't know Nicki- this recipe is quite variable depending on your meat and how much of all the toppings you use. (and even your tortillas!)
05/08/2014 12:03pm
I don't know Nicki- this recipe is quite variable depending on your meat and how much of all the toppings you use. (and even your tortillas!)
05/06/2014 10:06am
Thank u so much!!i have no words to ur recipy I have to build my boy strong&healty.
05/06/2014 11:23am
Anyone adapted this to avoid dairy? Sounds so good but I cant do dairy.
Claudia trejo
05/06/2014 4:48pm
I love this recipe! Tomatillos are green tomatoes! By the way this recipe could also work for Mexican tostadas.
05/08/2014 12:01pm
M- I would just leave out the dressing and add your favorite dairy free dressing. Everything else can stay the same. @claudia- yes Tostada's would be perfect!
06/22/2014 10:47am
Hi, Amy! The chicken in the crockpot recipe sounds great, but could you suggest anything vegetarian that would work in its place?
06/25/2014 6:03am
Hi Kari- I actually make this salad without any meat at all, just the salad! Still yummy.

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