Asian Chicken Salad

I always find that salads made at restaurants seem to be so much more satisfying and flavorful than any boring old salad I could possibly make at home. So instead of my usual weekend trip to Panera for lunch I decided to challenge myself to create an equally delicious salad at home!

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Here is what I discovered. First, presentation of the salad is key. If it looks boring, it probably will taste boring. Be prepared to test your knife skills to get your veggies looking just right! Second, a variety of flavors is essential; this salad features hints of ginger and cilantro that seem to be minor details, but really enhance the overall salad! Lastly, the dressing. A good dressing can make or break a salad. This Asian peanut style dressing is absolutely to die for, I loved it!

Asian Chicken Salad 

gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, shellfish-oil, fish-free, nightshade-free, bean & legume-free

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 x 1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp natural nut butter (I used crunchy almond butter)
  • 1 Tbsp natural honey or agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced lengthwise into ribbons
  • 1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 bunches Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sesame seeds, optional

In a large stock pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add chicken and let cook for another 10 minutes on low heat until no longer pink inside. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from broth from broth and let cool. Reserve broth for dressing. To make dressing, combine nut butter, honey, coconut butter, and 1/4 cup left over chicken broth in a tight fitting jar and shake well. Combine lettuce, zucchini, carrots, onions in a large salad bowl and toss well. Divide among plates, shred cooked chicken on top of salad, drizzle some dressing, sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds and serve!

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This salad made the most amazing summer lunch, and I can’t stop raving about the dressing (so simple yet so tasty)! I think the recipe was supposed to make about 4 salads, but between Will and myself, we just made 2 giant lunch salads; its amazing how filling veggies can be! At least I stayed full long enough to prevent myself from grabbing a piece of cake at my cousin’s graduation party later in the afternoon. My famous Cobb Salad now has some competition!

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