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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Asian Chicken Salad

I was in the mood for something Asian-flavored with peanut sauce (I love peanut sauce and well, all things peanut butter), so decided to try to perfect a Asian Chicken Salad.  Using a combination of chopped peanuts and a soy and vinegar dressing with peanut butter, it has just the right amount of peanut flavor.  I added a little bit of Sriracha sauce, to give it a little kick.  Feel free to add more of it for more spice, but what I added was just enough to give a little flavor (but wasn't spicy at all).

The result is a colorful chicken salad packed with a lot of flavor.  And you can't ignore the nutritional benefits of this salad.  Cabbage is loaded with Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, fiber, folate, and low in calories.  Bell peppers are loaded with Vitamins A & C and antioxidants and carrots provide carotenoids and Vitamins A, K, and C.

If you want to go vegetarian, you can simply leave out the chicken.  You can also use any type of cabbage you'd like--green is most popular, but I used red cabbage (has more antioxidants and basically, is prettier)  in this recipe.

6-8 Cups Red Cabbage, Shredded (1 head cabbage)
2 Red Bell Peppers, Cut Into Strips
3/4 Cup Carrots, Shredded
3/4 Cup Peanuts, Chopped
1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped (roughly 1/2 cup)
1 lb. Chicken Breasts, Cooked and Cubed

1/4 Peanut, Olive, or Canola Oil
1 tsp. Sugar (or Agave Nectar or Honey)
3 tsp. Ginger
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (could sub Apple Cider Vinegar)
2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

1 tsp. Sriracha sauce (to add a bit of spice)

1. In a large salad bowl, stir together all the vegetables (cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots), peanuts, and the chicken.  Stir to combine well.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
3.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss or stir well to coat.

Garnish with chow mein noodles, toasted slivered almonds, chopped green onions, or mandarin oranges if you desire!  To make it a vegetarian meal, just leave out the chicken.


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