Have you ever tried convincing a meat lover that salad is a viable dinner option. No, not an appetizer. Not a side dish either. The main event. As in, that’s what you’re having to eat tonight. Chinese Chicken Salad!
Well, I used to ask my meat-loving other half what he wanted for dinner (Exhibit A: meatloaf), but then I realized we’d become pretty rotund pretty quickly if I cooked only the dinners he suggested.
Cook lean meat, his sister-in-law recommended. Sometimes I try. But then I add a side of scalloped potatoes. Maybe the boy isn’t the only one to blame.
At a recent blogger event, Carly suggested telling a tiny fib: This one is heavy on the butter and cream. Since it’s pretty fattening, I’m dishing out small portions. That sounds like a great idea in theory, but we have less than zero percent self control when there’s good food to be had. In this house, small portions = more time spent getting up and returning to the kitchen for seconds and, dare I say, thirds.
I kept plans to make a salad for dinner mum, but was pretty quickly caught red handed chopping veggies. “Salad?? You should have told me.” Um, why? So you can make sure to have a extra large lunch? I don’t think so!
Fast forward a few minutes and imagine my surprise when the comments started coming, “wow it smells really good.” Then, “wow this is really good!” Then the real kicker: “I think this is the best salad I’ve ever had.” Night made.
In short, this long tale confirms one thing: This is one good salad.
We finished the whole bowl.
To our credit, we’re making progress with this healthy eating thing. Eating a healthy Chinese Chicken Salad made for four is much better than eating a tray of enchiladas made for four. No?
We just won’t talk about the dozen cookies that disappeared shortly after our Chinese Chicken Salad was gone. No, definitely not.
This healthy, yet hearty Chinese Chicken Salad comes together in a hurry and has enough staying-power to be a full meal.
- 2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and minced
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 large lime)
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 cup chopped pineapple (canned or fresh. If canned, buy the one in juice, not syrup and drain before using.)
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Places chiles, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and onion in a medium bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Place cabbage, carrots, pineapple, chicken , and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and toss until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.