Friday, June 20, 2014

Chopped Thai Crunch Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing

First of all, please forgive me for the sketchy postings of late....I think the heat is really getting to me and I have just been exhausted all week.  Secondly, I really wish I had a better close-up of this incredible salad or at least some leftovers to take a new photo.

Let me tell you why you must try this.  One:  It is delicious.  Two:  It is beautiful.  Three:  It is ultra-nutritious.  Four:  You can make everything ahead of time and it will keep for several days because it's all crunchy stuff that won't get soggy.  Five:  You can adjust the ingredients to your liking (I add extra edamame).

I cut the recipe in half since there are just two of us and it make plenty for a big entree salad for each of us with enough leftovers for my lunch the next day.  I figure I could make a half recipe during the week when Jim is out of town and have a fantastic lunch or dinner everyday while he is gone.

Delicious, beautiful, full of color and texture.  It's the proverbial party in your mouth!


2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

4 Tbsp rice vinegar
4 Tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
S&P (a pinch of each)

Peanut Dressing:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp very hot water, plus more if needed

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped napa cabbage
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 cup diced cucumber, peeled or not
1 cup edamame
1 cup small diced carrots
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro
Peanuts for topping, optional

For the chicken, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, S&P.  Place the chicken in a ziploc bag or shallow dish and cover with the marinade.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours (the longer it marinates, the better the flavor).  Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill 6-7 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate and let cool.  Chop into bite-sized pieces.

For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a liquid measure or small mason jar and whisk (or shake) until well combined.  The dressing can be made up to a week in advance. 

For the peanut dressing, whisk together (or again, shake in a mason jar) all the ingredients until well combined.  Add additional hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

For the salad, toss together all of the salad ingredients with the cooled and chopped chicken.  This will stay crunchy until ready to dress and serve.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and toss until well-coated.  Serve the salad with the peanut dressing on the side to drizzle on top.

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