When hot weather arrives, this chilled, satisfying salad is the perfect meal.
This salad is not considered “clean” because of the noodles and brown sugar, but you could easily modify by putting the chicken and veggies over quinoa, cauliflower “rice”, or zucchini “pasta” and substituting stevia or honey for the brown sugar. I absolutely love this tasty, toothsome salad full of fresh veggies and strong flavors. And if you’re making a new commitment to the clean eating lifestyle and your partner’s not so enthusiastic, this is a fantastic transition meal. I usually make a huge pot of this and we eat it for days.
Approximately 1 1/2 lbs. chicken
(whatever cut you prefer, but I like bone-in, skin on thighs)
Freshly ground pepper
Green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3/4 head of cabbage, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
Sugar snap peas (sometimes I cut em in half, sometimes I don’t)
1 jalapeño, finely diced
(You can make this a lower calorie dressing by replacing the sugar with some stevia and omitting the oils all together.)
1/3 cup lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar if you don’t want to buy a whole other bottle)
2 big squirts of Sriracha
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoons walnut oil (you can add more if the dressing is too tart or sharp tasting)
8 ounces pad thai rice noodles or mung bean noodles
Basil leaves, roughly chopped
Mint leaves, roughly chopped
To make the salad:
Sprinkle your chicken pieces with salt and pepper and throw them in the oven at 350. Cook them till they’re done and ooze clear juices when sliced at the fleshiest part. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins and bones and pull the meat into chunks. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix all of the prepared vegetables (leaving out the herbs) in a big bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. I usually just do this in my dutch oven. Then, when I’m done making the salad, I just slap a lid on it and stick it in the fridge.
To make the dressing, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and walnut oil. Taste and adjust ingredients if you prefer. Try not to drink it cause it’s so delicious. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop the noodles in and turn off the heat. Cover and let sit until noodles are al dente, 10-20 min. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water for a minute or two to cool them and keep them from getting gummy.
Chop the basil and mint. Add the noodles to the veggies and toss. Fold in the dressing, basil, and mint. Taste and add salt if needed. Put in the fridge to chill or serve at room temp. Mmmmmm, spicy.