I love cooking shows, obviously-- I want to be on one! One of our favorites is Cook's Country, even though it is possibly the nerdiest one out there. The other day, they made this amazing looking chinese chicken salad and I had to make it paleo. I credit them completely for this recipe. So this is weird: I recently discovered that I have an aversion to spinach and dark leafy greens. It is what has been giving me leg cramps for the past year. After months of feeling like a prisoner in my own body, trying to eat as cleanly as possible and even going as far as trying the paleo autoimmune protocol, we finally figured out what was causing these awful nighttime pains. I have no idea what is in spinach that was causing it, but I know that as soon as I cut it out, the cramps went away.
Why am I telling you this? I don't know. The point is that since I cut out spinach, I haven't had many salads. So I was super excited to try this recipe. It was awesome!
Chinese Chicken Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon asian chili sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 head napa cabbage
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
1/3 cup slivered almonds
Peel the orange and remove the individual segments to a small bowl. In a large bowl, squeeze out the remaining juice from the orange guts and pith (It should be about 1/4 cup). To the juice, whisk in coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, chili sauce and honey. Now take 1/2 cup of this mixture and put it in a medium skillet (keep the rest of it in the bowl). Turn the skillet to medium and add the chicken. Cover and cook until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred. Keep the liquid in the skillet over medium heat, uncovered, allowing it to reduce and caramelize while you shred the chicken. When the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup (don't let it burn!), add the shredded chicken back in and stir to coat evenly.
Now back to the dressing. Whisk the sesame oil into the remaining dressing in the bowl. Now add the cabbage, romaine, bell pepper, cilantro and green onions to the bowl. Toss to coat with the dressing. To serve, layer the salad on a plate, top with chicken and garnish with the orange slices and almonds.
This is a great make-ahead salad. I made this in the morning and packaged it up just like this (covered the whole bowl with saran wrap and stuck it back in the fridge). It was so easy to toss up for dinner!