Ditch Take Away with This Asian Chicken Salad – Zenwise Ditch Take Away with This Asian Chicken Salad – Zenwise
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Healthy foods

Ditch Take Away with This Asian Chicken Salad



Meet your new favorite chicken salad! Here’s a tantalizing combo of cabbage, carrots, snow peas, water chestnuts, mandarin oranges, wonton strips – and rotisserie chicken, so you don’t even have to turn on the stove!

 

This Asian Chicken Salad makes fabulous prep ahead/portable lunches, light dinners or crowd-pleasing potluck sides. It’s fresh, healthy and delivers a lot of crunch. And the dressing has a zing that’s sweet, sour, and robust all the same time.

 

Customize and Make it Your Own

This Asian Chicken Salad is all about customizing it to make it your favorite salad. Feel free to swap out ingredients or add more or less according to your taste.

What makes this salad great is having something sweet [like mandarin oranges or pineapple] and some crunch [peanuts, water chestnuts]. Feel free to add in bean sprouts, mint, mushrooms, or celery.

And be extra generous with those wonton strips [you can also use chow Mein noodles.]

Napa cabbage is thinner and softer than traditional cabbage. It has a lot of crunch but a milder taste that pairs beautifully with red cabbage. You should be able to find it in your local supermarket right by traditional cabbage.

Store-bought rotisserie chicken makes it even easier. We suggest marinating the chicken in some of the dressing for about 15-20 minutes as you prep the rest of the salad. This infuses the chicken with a punch of Asian flavor and prevents it from becoming dry.

 

Why We Love These Ingredients

Chicken is an excellent low-fat source of protein, which can help build muscle, strengthen bones, and even support balanced blood sugar levels. Chicken also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for raising serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is the “feel-good” neurochemical linked with mood.

Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet. It’s been used for centuries as a remedy for inflammation, indigestion, nausea, and ‘weakness.’  Even today it’s used for menstrual cramps and as a natural immune booster.

Cabbage is packed with gut-friendly insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and promotes regular bowel movements. It is also rich in soluble fiber, which helps increase the number of good bacteria in the gut.

And like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect cell health.

 

Some Pro Tips to Get You Started

Don’t have time for all that chopping? No problem. Just buy bags of pre-cut julienned carrots and shredded cabbage.  Or just attach the shredder blade to your food processor, push the button and you’re done!

When you’re ready to dress the salad, less is more. The dressing itself has strong flavor, and you don’t want it to overpower all the other goodness. Also, add the dressing at the last minute so your cabbage doesn’t get soggy.

And yes, you can make this ahead of time. Prep all the veggies and store them in sealable bags in the fridge. Or pack the wetter and heavier ingredients on the bottom of a container and the cabbage/lettuce on top to prevent wilting.

Add Mandarin oranges, pineapple, nuts, wonton strips and dressing right before serving.

The salad dressing can be whisked together and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.

 

Ready? Let’s eat!

Asian Chicken Salad

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad! It also stores beautifully for make-ahead lunches and stress-free dinners. 
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6 -8

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 small head Napa cabbage thinly shredded (about 6 cups, approx. 1 pound)
  • 1/2 small red cabbage thinly shredded
  • 1 cup thinly julienned or finely shredded carrots
  • 3 oz.  snow peas, ends trimmed and julienned (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 can diced or sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 red bell pepper julienned then halved
  • 1- 11 oz. can(s) mandarin oranges in water drained
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup craisins 
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, cashews or chopped peanuts 
  • 1 1/2 cups wonton strips or chow Mein noodles 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or sunflower seeds 
  • 1 8oz can of Pineapple chunks, drained

Optional Salad Ingredients

  • mango
  • Asian pear

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar with a tight fitting lid or a small bowl. Shake jar or whisk dressing vigorously.

  2. Remove 3 tablespoons dressing and add to bowl with the chicken. Stir until evenly coated. Let chicken marinate while you prep the vegetables. Refrigerate the remaining dressing.

  3. Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl except for wonton strips IF you are expecting leftovers. Whisk/shake salad dressing and drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss until well combined. Add wontons strips to individual servings if expecting leftovers.

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