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Monday, January 11, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad







Ah, Monday morning. Three cups of coffee and a couple of Excedrin later, I'm ready to roll. So far today I've made breakfast, taken the boys to their morning round of therapy, grocery shopped, cooked lunch, cleaned the house up, cleaned and folded the laundry, done two rounds of dishes, played "chef" with my sons (yes, I'm teaching them early... lucky future wives), made dinner and finally, put the boys for their nap. Not bad for it only being noon.




Tonight's dinner is Asian Chicken Salad. I chose it because I knew I could make it up early and shove it in the fridge for later. I like to be able to check dinner off my list early sometimes and this is the perfect recipe for that. The more it sits, the better the flavor becomes. It should be perfect by tonight.




I've always thought that the key to a perfect salad is color. This salad is a testament to just that. It is a real show stopper with great taste to boot. As usual, it is easy and quick to make thanks to my boyfriend, Trader Joe.




Now, here's the warning: I use vinegar. I know what you're thinking. SHE DOES WHAT???? Yes, it's true. I am guilty as charged. So you Paleo purists out there can go ahead and shun me; I will survive.




What you'll need:




1/2 a bag of shredded cabbage


1/2 a bag of shredded broccoli slaw


2 Persian cucumbers (or one big, peeled & seeded), chopped


1 large tomato, seeded to remove liquid, chopped


1 bell pepper (I like orange for the color), chopped


3 green onions, chopped


1/2 the pack of TJ's Just Chicken (it's cut chicken breasts), chopped


1/2 cup sliced almonds


1/2 cup dried cranberries


black sesame seeds (only if you're trying to wow someone)




dressing:


2/3 cup rice vinegar (no sugar, no salt)


4T sesame oil


2tsp soy sauce


2T almond butter




What you do:




Make the dressing first by putting all of the ingredients in a tupperware bowl and closing the lid. Now shake it hard. Keep shaking it until it's mixed well. Make sure the lid is on, you don't want to be cleaning soy sauce off the ceiling (trust me... it sucks). Set it aside.




Now take all your other ingredients except the sesame seeds and put them in a big bowl. Poor the dressing over and give it a good toss. If you have time you can let the dressing sit on the salad a while before serving.




Plate the salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Ooooo... so pretty! Serve it at the table and when everyone looks at you in wonder reply, "That's right, I'm the sh*%". If you have children at the table reply, "Oh, how nice of you to think my salad is pretty. Mommy/Daddy made it especially for you my little muffin."




Enjoy!




p.s. If you can't eat cabbage you can use lettuce. Just know that once the dressing goes on it will not keep for long before wilting.

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