A few weeks ago, we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to celebrate our 15-year anniversary. A short trip – just a chance to get away and enjoy each other’s company. I had planned on doing another “What I Ate Gluten Free” post to try new restaurants, but it didn’t quite work out that way.
I almost didn’t want to do this post. Really…. You are probably going to laugh or think I’m totally ridiculous (but here it goes).
We were there for about three nights. As per usual, we go to the grocery store so that we can at least eat one meal in the room (we have a timeshare with a full kitchen) and only eat out once per day. This totally helps with keeping vacations costs down. That means I had three gluten free meals to find in Myrtle Beach.
The first day we got there we went straight for our favorite salad – the California Dreaming Salad. If you remember from my “What I Ate Gluten Free” post about Columbia, SC, we love to get that salad whenever we can. The only difference between the regular version and the gluten free version is no croissant with the GF version. 🙁
It’s slow this time of year in Myrtle Beach and we got there fairly late in the afternoon (but before dinner). So, the restaurant was pretty empty. The salads came promptly and were absolutely delicious!
The next day, we wanted – you guessed it – another one of those salads. Not wanting to look like total lunatics, we decided to go to California Dreaming’s sister restaurant, Carolina Roadhouse. Like I said, California Dreaming was pretty empty the day before. They would surely remember us.
It was again – delicious!
By the third day, I couldn’t bring myself to go back to California Dreaming (no matter how much I wanted to). We still wanted a salad, but decided for something different – Chipotle. I love Chipotle – even with their issues. I only eat their chicken, and the lazy girl in me loves to order my food online and pick it up at the register.
Copycat California Dreaming Salad
Once we got home, we still wanted to have one of those delicious salads. I even went as far as to ask Siri for directions to the closest California Dreaming. Columbia… South Carolina? 90 miles? No thanks…
So, we decided to try to recreate the salad at home. We’ve had enough of them. We know what ingredients are in it.
The key is in the layering. Here’s what we’ve found that works the best:
- Mixed Greens (Romaine and Iceburg Lettuce, chopped)
- Homestyle Garlic Ranch Dressing
- Tomato, diced
- Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
- Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
- Deli Turkey, shaved
- Deli Ham, shaved
- Slivered Almonds (Toasted)
- Bacon Crumbles
For the meats, I get Boars Head deli meats from Publix’s. I can order online and pick up at the deli. Totally convenient! And, I can get it already shaved! I usually buy the Tavern Ham and the Honey Coat Turkey, but that’s totally a personal preference.
The California Dreaming salad comes with Hormel Ham and Bacon crumbled on top. We already had some Hormel Bacon crumbles that we buy at Sam’s. Close enough!
For the dressing, we use the Homestyle Garlic Ranch Dressing recipe from MyRecipes. It’s the closest recipe that we’ve found to California Dreaming’s absolutely delicious ranch dressing.
Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you make this salad and love it as much as we do!