There are certain summer meals that make me so nostalgic. One of them is definitely these pork and pineapple kebobs I shared last summer. Another that tops the list is Mesquite chicken with Uncle Ben’s rice pilaf. That frequented our patio table very often during the summer growing up. Usually accompanied by a salad or some green vegetable because Marilyn was all about that balanced plate. But the staples were Mesquite and rice pilaf.
There are certain things I don’t like to take shortcuts on in the kitchen (like marshmallows, apparently?), but I am not above these marinade mixes (or boxed rice, for that matter). They’re a really cheap and easy way to ensure you’ll impart a ton of flavor on whatever protein you’re grilling. We had friends over for dinner on Sunday night and I used the Zesty Herb one on some chicken skewers, and Island Woodfire on shrimp skewers. Both were a big hit.
But Mesquite is the OG marinade mix in my book so when I happened to see it at Harris Teeter I snagged it for a quick dinner option for me and the GS.
Then the next day with leftovers I quickly threw together a chicken salad for us for lunch that had us looking at each other in wide-eyed wonder over how shockingly good it was. So simple but SO flavorful.
Mesquite Chicken Salad
3 cups shredded, grilled chicken
1/3 cup mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped red onion
salt & pepper to taste
Uh… mix everything together and be done with it.
You get that smoky flavor from the marinade and from the actual grill, plus a little extra tang from the Dijon.
I’m about to make this for the third time this morning, before I embark on a 6 hour drive to the far reaches of West Virginia to see one patient and then turn around and drive all the way back.
In case I’m forever lost in the boonies of WV, I leave you with this non-recipe.
And one more photo of Louise being a polite beggar.