“The first lily of June opens its red mouth.
‘All over the sand road where we walk
multiflora rose climbs trees cascading
white or pink blossoms, simple, intense
the scene drifting like coloured mist.
The arrowhead is spreading its creamy
clumps of flower and the blackberries
are blooming in the thickets. Season of
joy for the bee. The green will never
again be so green, so purely and lushly
new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads
into the wind. Rich fresh wine
of June, we stagger into you smeared
with pollen, overcome as the turtle
laying her eggs in roadside sand.”
– “More than Enough” by Marge Piercy
The first day of June always seems like the onset of summer. It’s our wedding anniversary, so it has always felt like new beginnings. When the girls were younger, June was the month filled with school concerts, piano recitals, soccer games: more than enough activity. Now that my youngest daughter’s in her final year of high school, she has spent an intense month preparing for school summatives, essays, presentations and debates: more than enough schoolwork. June’s exams seem almost idyllic in comparison.
She’s in her last month now of living at home full time. She and her older sister are working at camp most of the summer, and she’ll be heading off to university in the fall. We have had an abundance of shared memories and joy, but somehow “more than enough” doesn’t seem like quite enough.
Whatever your summer looks like, this chicken taco salad is a perfect summer entree – light, filling and delicious. Whenever I find a recipe that everyone in my family likes, I make a big deal about it on this blog, and it enters my permanent rotation. We all loved this salad more than enough.
Chicken Taco Salad
(adapted from Julia’s Album)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
4 cups spinach, torn into bird-sized pieces
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 1/2 to 2 red peppers, thinly sliced and halved lengthwise
2/3 cup corn
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips, crushed
Ranch salad dressing
Season the chicken breasts with taco seasoning on both sides. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool the breasts then slice them into small cubes.
Toss all salad ingredients (chicken, spinach, green onions, red onion, red pepper, corn, grated cheese) together in a large salad bowl. Serve on individual plates, top with tortilla chips and drizzle with ranch dressing.