Friday recipe: Asian chicken salad

When it gets colder outside – and, yes, we had our first snow of the season on Monday – my salad consumption tends to slide. This week my friends in the DMU Wellness Center reminded me of the error of my ways when they shared a delicious lunch featuring Asian chicken salad, a tasty combo of crunch and flavor. The beauty of this recipe goes beyond its eye appeal: Two of its main ingredients, rice and chicken, are easy to cook in large batches (my plan for the weekend) and have ready to toss together for a fast, healthy lunch or dinner. And, being salad, this is utterly adjustable to fit what’s in your kitchen. Shredded cabbage, drained chickpeas and chopped peppers of any variety are just a few ideas for options.

Get a head and go for salad.
Get a head and go for salad.

(A quick cooking 101 on poaching succulent, tender chicken: Place about a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a snug, single layer in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover with one and a half to two cups of water or fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth; add a couple of teaspoons of your favorite dried herbs and one bay leaf. If you want, you can toss in a sliced onion, celery and/or carrot. Bring pot to a boil, then quickly reduce heat so that the liquid is at a simmer. Partly cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow chicken to remain in the liquid for 15-20 minutes. Store in the fridge with a little of the liquid to keep the chicken moist until you’re ready to slice or shred it.)

Asian chicken salad

Makes 8 1½-cup servings

  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and shredded
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup cooked brown long-grain rice
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss together the lettuce, chicken, rice, almonds, sesame seeds, and green onions in a large bowel until thoroughly mixed. Whisk or shake together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour over the salad and toss.

Nutritional info per serving: calories, 275; carbohydrate, 16 g; fat, 15 g; protein, 20 g; fiber, 3 g

Recipe source: The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet by Dr. Barbara Rolls

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