Perfect Pearing: Thai Ginger Chicken Salad
Nothing says summer like a crunchy, crisp, chicken salad sandwich in hand, sipping on an ice cold lime seltzer, with the warm sunshine hitting your golden, mid-summer tan as the crash of the waves hit the shore.
Chicken salad and the beach are a "perfect pearing", that was until a caught a glance of the nutrition fact label for my favorite store bought Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
while packing my beach cooler. A half cup serving had 470 calories, 11 grams of sugar and 39 grams of fat! I am not a calorie counter but that seemed just over the top for simple sandwich on a hot summer day.
Thai Ginger Chicken Salad, is a new spin on a classic favorite that was inspired by my recent ginger obsession. Ginger's spicy, peppery, lemony, yet slightly sweet taste adds a punch of flavor to the chicken and dressing for this dish. Beyond the amazing and explosive flavor ginger has to offer, there are numerous health benefits linked to this unassuming root from anti-inflammatory effects, lowering blood sugars to helping with digestion. The benefit that really grabbed my attention was ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
The salad is very simple to make. The most difficult part is baking and then breaking up the chicken thighs. You can modify this recipe in many ways by changing up the shredded veggies, adding more lime, less ginger, skiping the peanut butter etc. You can really make it your own and accommodate any palate. Beyond that punch of ginger, this crunchy salad can be made ahead of time and enjoyed all week long for half the calories of most major store bought versions. One serving is 250 calories, 13 grams fat and 22 grams of protein. Lesson learned, homemade always taste better and is better for you. Chicken Salad and the beach are a "perfect pear" again!
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup red peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup green onions, diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped finely
2 Tbps olive oil
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
Chicken Salad Dressing:
1 cup 2% Greek Yogurt (plain)
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
zest of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
salt/pepper to taste
(1) Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl/bag. Let chicken thighs marinade for 60+ minutes in the refrigerator.
(2) Pre-heat the oven for 350 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until cooked through.
(3) While chicken is baking, shredded and slice salad ingredients and combine in a large bowl.
(4) Combine ingredients for chicken salad dressing in another bowl and set aside.
(5) Once chicken is cooked, set aside to cool. Shredded chicken. Either with 2 forks or in the food processor.
(6) Combine, salad, chicken and salad dressing, mix well. Enjoy right away or place in air tight container in your refrigerator to eat all week.