Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thai Chicken Salad

Today was a glorious day in New York.  It felt like it was mid May.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing and it was one of those days that I had to get outdoors the minute I got home from work.  We've had a mild winter and things are blooming, budding and growing (and people are sneezing) earlier than usual.  I had to remind myself not to jump the gun and start planting my garden too early.  It will only lead to disappointment.  It isn't too early though, to start some peas, snap peas and radishes in my raised beds.  I spent the afternoon playing in the dirt and potting some pansies as well.

Trying to eek out every last ray of sunshine would cut into dinner prep time, so I opted to prepare a big salad for dinner.  A while back I found this recipe for Thai Chicken Salad in a Cooking Light magazine and thought it would be a perfect, quick dinner.  Again, this is a great thing to make if you have a rotisserie chicken from Costco or your grocery store.  If you read my blog, you already know I think Costco rotisserie chickens are a great time saver and frequently work their way into my cooking repertoire.  I guess I could say they are my favorite time saver.  The interesting thing about this salad is that the peanut dressing is heated and tossed into the salad while it is warm.  If you don't plan on eating it all at once, divide your salad and save some dressing on the side.  Just remember to heat up the dressing before you toss it. I'm looking forward to a delicious lunch tomorrow.  Oh and did I mention, it's less than 300 calories a serving? ...... that is, unless you go crazy with the peanuts like someone I know.
Thai Chicken Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light  April 2011
Serves 4

Salad Ingredients
  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
Dressing Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or 1 teaspoon if you like more heat)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • fresh lime wedges
  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients and bring dressing to a boil. 
  3. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Dressing will slightly thicken.  
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour warm dressing over salad and toss.
  6. Serve salad garnished with chopped peanuts and a fresh lime wedge.

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