I’ve made you a salad.
If you know me very well, you know that in my mind, cheese burgers > salad. Especially when said salad is actually just a pile of raw cabbage and vegetables.
But this salad. Thiiiiis salad is something else. I had it for dinner two nights ago. I had it for lunch yesterday. I’m having it again for lunch today. These things just don’t happen in my life.
I’m already brainstorming everything else I should top with this salad dressing, which is what really makes the salad. Chicken wings? Yeah. Dipping sauce for some egg rolls? Definitely. Drink it in a glass? That’s probably going too far, but I wouldn’t put it past myself. I really like this dressing (which is why I was OK with eating a pile of raw cabbage).
Also, I hereby swear to sometime in the very near future as soon as my bank account allows it stop using my iPhone camera for the food pictures that go on this blog. My photography skills (or lack thereof) absolutely do not do these meals justice.
For the dressing:
- 1 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 6 tbsp light brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (um, who just buys fresh ginger and grates it themselves? Not I, said the fly. So skip this if you’re lazy like I am)
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 limes, juiced
For the salad:
- 6 to 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 or 2 smallish breast halves)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small head napa cabbage, shredded (I couldn’t find napa cabbage so I made it easy on myself and bought pre-bagged cabbage)
- ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and quartered
- 2/3 cup carrot, chopped or sliced
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 2 tbsp dry roasted (or dry honey roasted) peanuts, roughly chopped
- To make the dressing:
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the dressing cool for 10 minutes. Pour the dressing into a resealable container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- To make the chicken: Preheat oven to 375° F. Pour half of the dressing into an 8×8-inch baking dish. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add the chicken to the dish. Coat both sides of the chicken well with the dressing. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.
- Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board; discard what’s left of the dressing in the dish. Allow the chicken to cool for 5 minutes then shred it (or slice it thinly on the diagonal).
- To assemble the salad: Load up two plates with the shredded cabbage. Top each with the chicken, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, and peanuts (and any other toppings you may be adding). Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve while the chicken is still warm.
Yields: 4 servings (but I had leftover dressing, so I baked an extra chicken breast the next night in order to have it again for lunch. I’m telling you guys, this stuff has crack in it.)