I didn’t think that my dinner last night would turn out all that special. It wasn’t planned out or really given much thought. I had a few not-so-healthy meals over the weekend and knew I had to make something healthy, so I decided a salad was in order.
I don’t like whimpy salads that are flavorless or leave me hungry, so I filled it with poached chicken and a sweet-spicy dressing. It turned out SO good!
Since this was going to be our entire dinner, I didn’t want to be hungry again in 30 minutes and raiding the cupboards for food. I intentionally made this a chunky, hearty salad — a nearly 50/50 mix of greens to lean protein. As Rachael Ray might say, “it’s the cross between a salad and a stew, it’s a Stalad!”. Ahhhh, anyway ….
I’ve captured the basic proportions used to make this meal — please note that I whipped this together without actually measuring anything. I never thought that it would be interesting enough to post on my blog, but I fell in love with it and am now scrambling to remember what I put into it ;-)
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 green onion chopped, white part only (toss green part in salad)
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
I placed all of the ingredients into a container, then blended using my stick blender. In 30 seconds, it’s blended and beautiful. Add 1 tablespoon of the honey to start, then taste once it’s blended. Add more as needed to reach your sweetness level. I wanted it sweet and spicy, so adjusted the amount of honey and red pepper after I blended it.
1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced paper thin
2 poached chicken breasts, cooled to room temp
1/4 cup sweet pickled ginger
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 head lettuce, washed and chopped
1 green onion chopped, green part only
As you prepare the salad ingredients, drop them into a large bowl. I used a vidalia onion which is super sweet. I sliced it thinly and added to my bowl. Next, I sliced the chicken into thin 1/8″ slices and dropped into my bowl.
The pickled ginger is the type which you get with your sushi. I had a package in my fridge and I occasionally snack on it, but didn’t know what else to do with it. I ran my knife over it to lightly chop it then added to the bowl — you can save a few pieces out for garnishing. In order to not be wasteful, I also added the chopped green bits from the green onion.
At this point, I didn’t want my chicken to dry out so I coated the mix with about half of the dressing. Give it a good toss so that all of the chicken and other ingredients are nicely coated.
Before serving, add the lettuce and lightly chopped cilantro. Drizzle with remaining dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with bits of pickled ginger and serve.
I enjoyed this salad so much that I kept the leftovers. Normally, I don’t keep leftover salad as it gets all wilty and isn’t as good the next day. Well, I had the leftovers for lunch today and the lettuce held up well. It tasted even better than last night … but then again, everything tastes good when it’s served in a Winnie the Pooh bowl :-)