After a vacation do you ever feel that, upon your return, you need to detox the indulgence out of your body and eat only salad for a month? Almost every drive home from the airport for Patrick and I includes a conversation that goes something like this:
Me: Are you hungry?
Patrick: Are you hungry? (he knows that whenever I am hungry I always ask him if he is hungry)
Me: Yes (the hangry monster is waking up)
Patrick: I could eat (translation: Yes, I’m hungry)
Me: We should eat something healthy (thinking about the absurd amount of food and drinks consumed on said vacation)
Patrick: How about that one salad with the yummy dressing? (translation: I want to eat Chinese chicken Salad)
Thus, Chinese chicken salad has become our go to vacation detox. Normally, if someone shoved a bowl full of raw cabbage in front of me and said, “bon appetit,” I would ask, where are the farm animals? Somehow, adding peanuts, cilantro, carrots, snap peas, chicken (or tofu), etc… turns what would otherwise be incredibly boring into a delicious bowl of “swimsuit body come back to me.”
CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD
serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a smaller side
approximately 1.5 pounds chicken breasts (can substitute tofu)
salt and pepper
olive oil for chicken
ground ginger, optional
half of a large head of cabbage (or one small cabbage), diced into large but bite sized pieces
6 green onions, diced
2 large carrots, diced, or julienne
6 oz. dry ramen noodles, broken up (GF folks can leave these out or substitute something crunchy, like bean sprouts or gluten free croutons)
6 oz. sugar snap peas, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
Coat chicken breasts with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne/ginger (if using)-bake at 400 degrees F until cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, combine cabbage, green onion, carrots, ramen noodles, snap peas, peanuts, and cilantro in large bowl. Whisk together your dressing ingredients. Either toss with salad (if you are going to eat all of it right away), or keep dressing separate if you are going to have leftovers.
Chop cooked chicken and mix into salad or add on top.
This salad is best the first day, but I do not mind it the second day. Also, your dressing will separate naturally, just give it a good whisking before eating.