Rocky Mountain Cooking

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Not your average chicken salad…Southwestern Chicken Salad is packed with tons of flavor and summer veges! So delish!

Truth be known, I am Heather and I am a chicken salad junkie. This week like many, I needed to make something that I could literally eat all week. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever. It needed to be quick and easy. I decided to change my normal chicken salad up a bit so I added some southwest spices, a bunch of Cholula for great flavor with just a little added heat, tons of veges and just a tiny amount of mayo. Southwestern Chicken Salad, is now my favorite chicken salad. It’s so over the top yummy (and pretty darn healthy)  that it may be your new favorite too! I also made another batch for our after tennis picnic with the ladies. The eight of us polished off the whole bowl of it! We served it tortilla chips instead of making sandwiches which turned out to be a great accompaniment. It was kinda like chips and (chicken salad) dip! Just an idea for a way to serve it up! Enjoy it!

So yesterday, I had one of my top five experiences in my lifetime. I was lucky enough and so grateful to be included in the Boss Airlift program. What is a Boss Airlift, you may ask? Well, this program is provided by the Colorado National Guard and sponsored by ESGR (Employer Support of The Guard And Reserve). ESGR’s vision is to “foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States“. I learned so much yesterday and the importance of our National Guard and Reserve. Not only in terms of National Security but in how they serve our communities on so many levels. Our businesses are such an integral part of supporting our patriotic service man and women continue to serve our country and our local community. When they say it “takes a village”, it really does. A big shout out to businesses who recognize and embrace this, hiring military personal knowing that they are essential to the strength of our Nation and the community. I was very humbled yesterday being in the presence of our military men and women. This was a first time for me being on a military base and learning what they do and the roles that they play was awe inspiring. Each person plays a specific role that serves the greater purpose.  I have always been a supporter of our military but now knowing what I do, my admiration and gratitude has grown deeper. As we remember 9/11 today make a point to think about our military members and their courage, sacrifices and love of country to keep us all safe.

Along with knowledge that we gained yesterday… The Colorado National Guard provided us with an experience of a lifetime! Check out my pictures below. I mentioned top five experience… Riding shot gun in the cock pit of a Chinook helicopter made that list. I’m still pinching myself that I was lucky enough to take part in something like this. Enjoy the pictures. It was a perfect late summer Colorado day!


Southwestern Chicken Salad
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Southwestern
Author: Heather Blake
Nothing beats a good chicken salad! This Southwestern Chicken Salad may just become your new favorite!
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (I used about 2 rotisserie chickens)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cups corn (I used two ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumkin seeds (or substitute toasted almond slices)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Cholula hot sauce
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds (or almonds) and combine well.
  2. Before serving stir in the pumpkin seeds or almonds. Top with fresh cilantro.
This recipe can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Add the seeds or the nuts just before serving so that stay crunchy.

Getting ready to load up! Wow! So exciting!

The inside of a Chinook helicopter.. Betcha never seen that before!

Maybe for a million dollars I’d do this!

Garden of the Gods as seen from above! It’s stunning from this view too!

Pikes Peak is just massive! We are actually headed to the west side of this mountain. Aka.. the other side.

Who would have known. They keep pigs on the base to keep the rattlesnakes away. This goes to the saying, “you learn something new everyday”!

A friend of mine took this picture… Can you imagine being this close to an F16 dropping inert bombs? A sight to been seen and heard! Wow!

Selfie of me in the cockpit looking back! So cool!

View from the cockpit. No wonder why pilots love flying in Colorado. Not a bad view for this to be your office.

This is just cool..

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