Ahhhhhh salad season…also better to known to women everywhere, myself especially, as BATHING SUIT season. But I am ready for it. I know last year I bitched endlessly about the weather, but this year is for sure worse. I mean it snowed until the very last three days of April. E-f’ing-nuff!
I am beyond ready for lighter foods and lighter weather. And this Thai noodle and chicken salad is just what I am looking for right now. Light and tons of raw veggies, some noodles bc I can’t completely stay away from carbs and totally adaptable to whatever you have on hand.
But what I really want to talk about here is the dressing. Oh my. I found this on Feasting at Home a great food blog – and she describes it as the BEST DRESSING EVER, and she’s not f’in around. This dressing is insane and it is so simple anddddd keeps really well in the fridge. I make this in a large batch and keep some on hand.
I have also made this Whole30 compliant by using coconut aminos in lieu of soy and almond butter in lieu of peanut and cutting out the honey (though I really like the honey). the dressing is thick, but not at all oily, really smooth and almost creamy – perfect for the noodles and the sturdier cabbages and peppers I use in this salad. The dressing holds well onto raw veggies.
As for what you put in this salad…use what you like! I always use green and purple cabbage as a base and build from there. The ratio of vegetables to noodles is roughly 4:1, and I don’t know, unless I am low carbing it for a month, I like having the noodles, especially when I eat this for dinner. Lunch…whatever, I can do with out the carbs, but dinner I want to have a few. But when I am trying to exceptionally healthy, I use zucchini noodles and you most certainly can exclusively use zucchini noodles (raw also) which makes this a super legit healthy meal.
Thai noodle and chicken salad with peanut vinaigrette
For the salad
- 6 cups of mixed cabbage green and purple sliced as thin as you possibly can
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- 2 cups of red bell peppers
- 2 cups of cooked chicken cooled to at least room temperature (I use rotisserie chicken)
- 1 cup of raw asparagus so thinly sliced it is almost shaved
- 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
- 4 ounces of brown rice noodles cooked and cooled to at least room temperature (can substitute 4 ounces of raw zucchini noodles)
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts or sliced almonds
For the peanut vinaigrette (I always triple this and save the rest for later)
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup peanut butter almond butter tastes just as good
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- juice from 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- one tablespoon of sambal olek alternatively you could use sriracha
- one teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
- 3 teaspoons of minced ginger
- salt to taste
Put all the ingredients (except the salt) for the vinaigrette in a blender or food processor and combine until totally emulsified and smooth. Taste and add salt if you want/need it.
If you are smart like me, and make a double or triple batch, portion out what you need for this salad and put the rest in a mason jar or storage container and put in the fridge.
Combine all the salad ingredients EXCEPT the peanuts/almonds in a large bowl. Pour your dressing over and toss together coating all the veggies and noodles really well. Add your peanuts to the top and enjoy