Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grilled Chicken Thai Salad

This is the recipe that almost did not happen.  Being a lot of my values still lie in the fundamentals of "The Little Engine that Could," I had to make it happen.  Just after I got the dressing for this beauty of a salad, I heard on the news that there was a recall on some salad products.  Originally, I suggested buying angel hair slaw because there is an ample amount of veggie cutting in this recipe.  To my disappointment, my angel hair slaw was one of the brands on the recall list.  In to the trash the sad slaw went.

Today is a new day and the first day of my summer vacation, so I made the little jaunt to Whole Foods and purchased a head of savoy cabbage.  I'm actually happier with the savoy.  It has a much more milder smell than regular cabbage.  I had all of my other veggies cut and stored from last night.  I'm in a good place and so are my taste buds.

Isn't she a beaut? I adapted the recipe from a vegan recipe I saw on a blog for a Tangled Thai Salad.  You can visit the link or my Pinterest boards if you are interested in the original recipe.  I've made a few additions such as curry and fresh mint.  I also doubled the dressing to pull double duty as a marinade for the chicken.  The flavors are so exotic and an awesome beginning to the tastes of summer.  Trust me, you will want to make this salad all summer long.

Grilled Chicken Thai Salad
adapted from Fresh's Tangled Thai Salad

For the dressing:

1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light or fat free sour cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon curry powder

For the chicken:

14 oz. chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup Thai dressing (recipe above)

For the salad:

6 cups savoy cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks 
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
1 bunch green onions, cut diagonally (both white and green parts)
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 cup Thai salad dressing (recipe above)

Place all ingredients for the salad dressing in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  This should make close to 2 cups of dressing.  Set aside.

Place your chicken in a large seal-tight bag.  Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing onto the chicken, seal the bag, and     
squish with your hands until all of the chicken is coated.  Marinade for 30 minutes or overnight.  Heat your grill.  When you are ready to grill the chicken, shake a little of the marinade off the chicken using grilling tongs, so you do not scorch yourself or set fire to the chicken.  Grill 5 minutes per side or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.  Remove from the grill and set aside.

Arrange the salad ingredients in a large bowl or plate individually.  I plated mine individually arranging the cabbage and herbs first, then the peppers, carrot, cucumber, green onions, chicken, peanuts, and finally the dressing.  You can save any extra dressing for up to a week for other salads, or freeze as a future marinade.

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