Do you love the idea of what vegetables can do for your health but find it a hassle to prepare them? Or sometimes even worse, they can be just so darn boring. This Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad is a low stress, healthy recipe that makes getting your daily veggie requirement a ton of fun.
Salads have been my go to meal time and time again. I love how I feel when I eat them. In fact, if I go too long without a salad I start feeling sluggish and just plain yucky. Because of my love of salads I have been known to make a meal out of them. In other words, I eat BIG salads. My husband jokes that I eat a trough of salad. Usually when I make salad for our dinner, I am eating out of a serving bowl and he is eating out of a regular sized bowl. You can imagine my surprise when he not only ate a portion bigger than he normally does of this Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad but he went back for seconds. He was a happy eater and I was grinning from ear to ear knowing he had a healthy serving of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
October and November are perfect months for making this salad because mandarins, or cuties as many people know them, come into season. These orange gems are a great way to increase vitamin c levels. You can essentially make this dish anytime of the year using canned mandarins but there is something so special about smelling the burst of citrus as you peel them. In my book, fresh mandarins taste so much better.
The beauty of this Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad is that you can use either chicken or leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. If you chose to use chicken, a huge time saving trick is to bake the chicken breasts the day before and refrigerate them over night. It will make prep time so much faster. The salad dressing takes about 7 mins to make and to prep the veggies is another 7 to 8 mins. In about 15 minutes you will have a satisfying, full of flavor meal with a ton of nutrition.
This particular recipe does not use the crispy noodles and because of that, it becomes gluten free and low carb. I have found using whole roasted almonds a great substitute if you absolutely need that crunch. The other element that is different about this recipe is the powdered organic ginger. I love the taste of fresh ginger. To be completely honest, if I had to peal and grate the ginger on a tired or extra busy day, there is a good chance I would skip the salad all together. I have found having powdered ginger on hand makes this salad so much faster and I still love the taste. If you want to pump up the nutritional density even more add spinach, broccoli sprouts, carrots and cilantro.
With this Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad there is no need to slave in the kitchen to eat healthy. You will love this salad so much that it will be a repeat time and time again.
Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad
- For the Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil *or peanut oil
- sprinkling of sea salt and garlic powder to taste
- For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup peanut oil *or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce *Tamari for gluten free
- 3 med cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp sesame seeds *optional
- For the Salad
- 2 med heads of romaine lettuce or 3 to 4 romain hearts
- 4-6 mandarin oranges cuties
- 1-1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1-1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup silvered almonds
- For the Chicken- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt & garlic powder. Bake for 30 mins or until internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let cool before cutting.
- For the Dressing- Measure both oils and pour into large mixing bowl. Whisk in vinegar and soy sauce. Peel and crush garlic, add to vinaigrette. Add ginger and sesame seeds. Whisk thoroughly.
- For the Salad- Dice chicken, add to vinaigrette. Wash all veggies. Finely shred cabbage, cut sugar snap peas in half, tear lettuce, peel and separate mandarins, chop onions and add all veggies to vinaigrette/chicken mixture. Toss well with two large wooden spoons. Add nuts right before eating and toss again.
If you love salads check out these delicious recipes: