These teeny sandwiches totally saved me from starvation yesterday.

You know how sometimes in life you just completely lose your appetite? I mean, I BARELY know about that because I always seem to be ravenous, but I do believe that there are a few times in people’s lives when your appetite is nonexistent. Unfortunately this ridiculousness usually occurs after something horrible happens, like the death of a family member or a breakup or whatnot.

So not fair.

My most memorable (and only?) appetite loss occurred when I was 18 and broke up with a boyfriend who truly wasn’t worth the appetite loss at all, but whatever. For like 13 days or some outrageous number like that, I had zero appetite and only ate two things: Cheez-It’s and peanut butter spoons peppered with chocolate chips. Not even kidding. I wanted nothing else but those things, and even then, just tiny BITES of those things. Nothing else. It was the WEIRDEST THING EVER – clearly, since I remember it to this day. Oh, but I also remember that I was able to fit into a very cute and inappropriate tube top.

Side note: Should I get a life and stop commiserating over things I ate 10 years ago? I’m saying no.

Right now, I’m dealing with some of that appetite loss because of this wretched ear/sinus mess I have going on. I can’t hear, taste or smell, which seriously makes eating no fun at all. I can’t decide what I want, because I don’t crave anything. So I bought a box of Cheez-It’s, hoping that would help. It didn’t. They just don’t taste as good as they did 10 years ago. But whyyyyyy? Whatever.

I’ve had a few ice cream-covered spoons, but only because they feel good on my throat. Can’t taste ’em at all. I’ve snuck a few pieces of chocolate, because… I am me. I don’t know who I’m sneaking them from, but I’m sneaking them anyway. And two nights ago I had about three spoonfuls of boxed mac and cheese that tasted like, well… nothing. Because I can’t taste anything. Duh.

So as I went to whip together this chicken salad yesterday, I was all whiney and restless and in all “OMG but how will I even know if it tastes good?” mode. Me and all my miserableness was manifesting all over the kitchen and spouting off vibes of this sickness is NEVER GOING TO END and my life is over and I will never taste food again, ever.

But then I pulled these out of then oven, and I could sort of smell them and stuff. I immediately was drawn to the melted cheddar that was blanketing the chicken, corn, and black beans, and the bread was toasted to my idea of perfection. There was no way I wasn’t going to eat these, so I scarfed them like there was no tomorrow. AND! I sort of even tasted them. This chicken salad doesn’t have to make it’s way into a melt, and you can totally eat it like normal-person chicken salad, but… I highly recommend the cheese.

I know that’s so unlike me.

Southwest Chicken Salad Slider Melts

[inspired by my grilled greek chicken salad]

makes about 12 slider sandwiches

1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and shredded

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup black beans

1/3 cup sweet corn

3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

3-4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

12 slider buns, dinner rolls, or bread slices

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Throw in onions, peppers and 1/4 teaspoon salt, mixing to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until vegetables have softened. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. In a large bowl, combine chicken, onions + peppers, black beans and corn, mixing well.

In a smaller bowl, combine greek yogurt, remaining salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika and cilantro, mixing well. Add yogurt to the chicken mixture, stirring well to coat and combine. You can eat/serve your chicken salad in a traditional way, or to make the sliders, toast the bread or buns, scoop a few spoonfuls of the chicken salad on top of one bun, add some cheddar slices, then pop under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted and chicken is warm. Top with bun and eat!

P.S. bacon. Yes. It’s a good idea.