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My new favourite salad – Crunchy Chopped Asian Chicken Salad

At this time of year I always get a little bored with food. My palate is growing tired of the winter fare – the root veggies, stews and big pots of soup.

At the beginning of the winter season I love these meals but after three or four months of the same old, same old, I find myself in a food funk.

I start to crave new tastes and textures, long for the spring greens to appear and hanker for some new recipes.

I wrote about this last year when I was getting bored of the winter root veggies stocking the farmer’s market tables. I’d had my fill of cabbage, leeks, kale and turnip. They’d been our staple, go-to veggies for many months and with the spring harvest still a few weeks away, I needed a change.

So I shared this winter harvest salad recipe that helped bridge the transition.

This cobb salad is also a good one that can be enjoyed any time of year.

The salads I enjoy as we move from winter to spring are hearty, filled with lots of chopped, shredded and chunky veggies, a good serving of protein and and a flavourful dressing. These are definitely full meal salads.

Today I want to share with you my new favourite salad that had been getting me through these last few weeks.

It came about when I looked in my fridge and found some leftover slicked chicken breast and all of those winter veggies that just weren’t doing it for me.

“What can I do with chicken, cabbage and carrots?” I asked myself? “Hmmm, a chunky asian chopped salad might be nice.”

So I began the search for a recipe I could adapt to what I had in my fridge. After a few google entries I found a couple that fit the bill. I went to work chopping, grating and blending.

The result was a crunchy, thai flavoured, meal-sized salad that left my taste buds and belly satisfied for hours afterward. My mouth is seriously watering again for this big bowl of yumminess.

You could use any crunchy firm veggies you have (first time I didn’t have cucumber and it was perfectly fine) and it would work well with any leftover protein – beef, chicken or pork. But it’s the dressing that really makes this salad all that! It’s the “piece de resistance” the highlight, the jewel in the crown.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Crunchy Chopped Asian Chicken Salad

Ingredients

For the Peanut Dressing:

1/3 cup organic peanut butter (I use Nuts to You brand)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce (I use Bragg liquid soy seasoning)
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the Salad:

1 1/2 cups shredded or chopped chicken
3 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage (you could use 4 cups of a prepared coleslaw mix or other shredded veggie mix in a pinch)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber seeded and cut in 1 inch chunks
2 medium green onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth and looks like caramel.

For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. When ready to serve add in the dressing and and toss to coat. You might not need all the dressing. Serve with chopped peanuts on top, lime wedge and cilantro garnish.

Serves 4

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