Thai Crunch Chicken Salad

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Lately I have been going through a vegetable slump. I usually absolutely love vegetables, but I have been craving fruit instead. I think it’s because my body is screaming for sunshine and warm weather. (We did get a 60 degree, sunny day once last week!)

I like to make a menu before I go grocery shopping, so I am not scrounging to find something decent to cook in the middle of the week, or making unnecessary trips to the store. So, I decided (thanks to my husband for a little push) to dive into a veggie week full force. This salad was on the top of my list. It is bursting with colorful vegetables. And, to top it off, delicious chicken is cooked in the salad dressing marinade, then shredded into the salad. And thanks to my mom who brought me fresh salad greens from their cold frame. Score! I have been eating this salad all week! You can easily cut the recipe in half, but I love to make it extra big so I can have easy lunches all week.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in, skin removed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the dressing/marinade

  • 1 cup spicy sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced

Salad

  • 6-8 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, chopped
  • 6 scallions (green onions), sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • 2/3 cup chopped or sliced carrots
  • 2/3 cup peas (frozen-cooked, or fresh)
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley (or 3 Tablespoons dried)
  • 2/3 cup chopped peanuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then lay flat in the baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour half of the sauce over the chicken, turning to coat completely. Set aside the remaining sauce (dressing).

Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes, then shred or cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad by combining all the ingredients, except the peanuts, in a large bowl. Serve salad, top with chicken, peanuts and then salad dressing.

Source: Adapted from How Sweet It is

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