I don’t eat a lot of Asian food. I know some people love it, but it’s never really been my thing. But the other day, when I was at the grocery store, I had the urge to buy peanut sauce.
It wasn’t even that I was in the aisle and it called to me, or that I had a craving before I got to the store. Actually, I was in the produce section, looking at bibb lettuce and thinking about the lettuce wraps I used to get from Tokyo Joe’s and how I would dunk them in peanut sauce. Aaah, peanut sauce. It just sounded super delicious!
But . . . what was I going to make with peanut sauce?! Lettuce wraps? Meh, I can’t make ’em as good as Tokyo Joe’s (well maybe, with practice, but quite honestly I wanted to be lazy and not try that hard).
Salad, however, is relatively similar to lettuce wraps, a bit easier and less messy, and fulfills my goal to eat more veggies . . . perfect! 🙂
So here’s what I came up with, quick and easy Asian inspired chicken salad, yum!
- boneless, skinless chicken breast (4-6oz per salad, depending how hungry you are!)
- 2 -4 tsp butter (depending how much chicken you cook)
- ground red pepper, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- mixed baby greens, I like a couple big handfuls per salad, or 2-3 cups
- shredded cabbage, carrot, and broccoli blend to taste, roughly 1/2 to 1 cup
- cucumber (6-7 slices)
- red bell pepper (about 1/3 of a pepper)
- mandarin oranges (about 1/4 cup)
- fresh cilantro, to taste
- sesame seeds, to taste
- peanut sauce, to taste, roughly 2-3 tbsp
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking dish (I use a pie pan) with aluminum foil, and place frozen or thawed chicken breast in pan. Dot with small dollops (maybe 1/2 tsp each) of butter (1-2 per piece of chicken), and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and garlic powder to taste (I’m usually pretty generous with these as I hate bland chicken). Loosely pinch together edges of foil over chicken to make an “envelope” and cook until done (I cooked mine frozen, set the timer for half an hour, then again for 15 minute intervals to check and make sure it wasn’t overcooked . . . it took about an hour of total cooking time, but this will depend on whether you use frozen or thawed chicken and how much you prepare). *Tip: make more chicken than you will use on one salad for easy leftovers throughout the week.
- While chicken is cooking, toss together the veggies/fruit: baby greens, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, cucumber, cilantro, and oranges.
- Once chicken is done (no pink left in middle, juice runs clear when you cut into it), remove from oven and cool enough to handle. Chop into thin strips and toss the desired amount onto the salad.
- Top with sesame seeds and *drumroll please* peanut sauce! Enjoy!
It’s worth mentioning that I used Annie Chun’s All Natural Gluten Free Thai Peanut Sauce.
While it’s not got the worst list of ingredients and nutrition facts, in the future, on a day I’m feeling a little more adventurous, I may be attempting my own peanut sauce from scratch. But for now, I am not letting perfect be the enemy of good. There’s a lot of nutrients in this yummy salad, so I’m not too worried about the peanut sauce 🙂