Friday, May 6, 2016

Asian Cuisine Meets Healthy Friday

Thai Slaw with Peanut Dressing
Cook's notes: I really liked the blend of flavors and textures with fresh cilantro, red onions, crisp bell peppers, cabbage, crunchy carrots and rice noodles. The salad was tossed with addictive, slightly sweet, slightly sour, slightly salty, creamy peanut sauce. The flavors in the salad remind me of a salad from Granite City's restaurant called Asian Chicken Salad. Toss in some cold strips of chicken for added protein. The salad ingredients can be easily doubled but you will also have to make more dressing
Recipe adapted from and serves four.
Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix) and 2 cups red cabbage (I used the pre-cut stuff)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup combination of sweet mini red bell and yellow peppers, diced 
  • 3/4 cup sliced green onions or red onion, diced 
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup crunchy rice noodles ( I used a can of La Choy) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup  creamy peanut butter
  • 2 TB. fresh lime juice
  • 1- 1/2 TB. rice vinegar
  • 1- 1/2 TB. soy sauce
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 1-1/2 TB. packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 tsp. peeled and finely minced ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • optional sesame seeds
  • Add all salad ingredients to a a medium salad bowl and toss. 
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients until well combined (if preferred you can season with a little salt) or use a blender and pulse a few times. The dressing is thick.
  • Spoon dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately (note that you can make the salad and dressing portion ahead of time, just refrigerate both separately and add dressing when ready to serve. Also, don't add the dressing to the full portion if you don't plan to eat it all right away, just add to individual servings). 

Alternative Meal: Thai Chicken Tacos with Peanut Sauce
Chicken and marinade

  • 1- 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 TB. packed brown sugar
  • 2 TB. vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 1 TB. fish sauce
  • 1 TB. sriracha
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB. peeled and minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
Peanut Sauce
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 TB. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 TB. fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. peeled and finely minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 2 TB. hot water
For the marinade:

  • Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, seal bag then pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. 
  • In a bowl whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, fish sauce, sriracha, garlic, ginger, cilantro and green onions. 
  • Pour mixture over chicken in bag and seal bag. Rub marinade over chicken, transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate 2 - 4 hours.

For the peanut sauce:
  • Meanwhile make peanut sauce by whisking together peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce garlic, ginger, sriracha and hot sauce in a medium bowl.
To Assemble:
  • Cook chicken heat a grill to 400 degrees over medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with oil then transfer chicken to grill. Grill until chicken registers 165 in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and rest 5 minutes then cut into strips or cubes. Warm tortillas, add chicken with toppings: shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, diced red bell peppers, chopped unsalted peanuts, chopped green onions, cilantro and top with peanut sauce.

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