Asian Chicken Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing
Have you ever had one of those staple go-to salads that are just SO delicious you can make them each week for lunches and never get sick of them??
Yeah this would be mine.
Maybe it’s the combination of cabbage and cilantro mixed with crunchy carrots, bell peppers and snap peas all tossed in a delicious ginger sesame vinaigrette that has me so completely addicted, but whatever the case, this salad is pretty bangin. I usually like to make a big batch of this dressing to keep on hand in the fridge because, trust me, it’s THAT good, and I even like to marinate the chicken with it to add to the salad! Simply chop up your cabbage, toss all in all your veggies and grill up the chicken. It’s that easy! Really you can add whatever veggies you like, I promise you can’t mess this up. Feel free to add a variation of lettuce such as romaine, kale or spinach so you can get your greens in or you can always just leave it as is. This really is my go-to salad that I love to make during the week for lunches and I always just keep the dressing on hand in my fridge at work. If I don’t plan ahead (I mean let’s be honest) I usually tend to make poor lunch decisions so this makes it easy for me to stay on track during the week AND still have an enjoyable lunch.
Make some homemade KIND bars ahead of time and you’ll have the perfect snack (or M2 all you Tone It Up ladies) for the rest of the week!
I do want to take a moment and share with you my obsession with fresh ginger. Please, please, pleeeeeease do not use boring ground ginger that you can find on any given spice rack in this dressing. Of course that would work too, but the taste will be completely different and the benefits of fresh ginger are really just too good to pass up! Not only is fresh ginger good for your tummy and digestive tract, but it’s also great for your metabolism and, well, it just tastes so dang good! I love using fresh ginger any time I juice and I always add it to my cucumber lemon water with some added mint. Talk about a good detox drink! Oh and I don’t want to hear any complaints about this being too expensive, because ginger is so ridiculously cheap to buy and all you honestly need is a root the size of your thumb. Dig through the bin at your local grocery store and I promise you’ll find any size you’d like!
Ok rant over.
Hope you all enjoy this salad and please let me know what other posts/recipes you’d like to see on the blog! Any inspiration would be much appreciated!!
- 4 cups napa cabbage, chopped
- 2 cups red cabbage, chopped
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup snap peas
- ⅓ cup baby corn
- ⅓ cup bean sprouts
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded out
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- ¼ tsp. toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, shredded carrots, snap peas, baby corn, bean sprouts, red bell pepper, green onions and fresh cilantro. Set aside.
- To make the dressing - Using a blender or food processor, combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic clove, honey and fresh ginger and pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and continue blending until mixture is creamy.
- Using a meat pounder (or empty bottle), pound out the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness. Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag and add 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing. Make sure the chicken is completely coated and allow chicken to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- To make the chicken - Pre-heat a grill pan or an outdoor grill on medium-high heat and add marinated chicken breasts. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cook chicken about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until juices run clear. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting. This keeps them juicy!
- Add cut up chicken to the salad and toss with the dressing OR keep dressing in a jar and distribute salad with chicken to 4 individual containers for lunches that week. Enjoy!