This salad give me all the feels. It is colorful, healthy, and delicious. A triple threat!
I was craving Thai food but was not in the mood for cooking a hot dish in my small kitchen during the summer time (it just gets way too stuffy). Instead, I wanted to use Thai flavors to create something light and refreshing. Enter this beautiful salad.
I used the same veggies typically found in a stir fry but in their raw form: carrots, red peppers, edamame, and green onions. My lettuces of choice for the base of the salad were Napa cabbage, red cabbage, shaved brussel sprouts, and romaine lettuce. Since there is no cook time involved with this salad, I took the time to carefully cut my veggies and make it look beautiful. I julienned the red peppers, shaved the carrots into pretty ribbons, and arranged all the veggies in separate pockets around the bowl. Voila! It was my own salad masterpiece.
TIPS: This salad is versatile so you can use your favorite veggies/lettuce or what you have on hand in your fridge. If you do not want to get fancy or are in a hurry, you can just throw all the veggies into the bowl instead of carefully arranging them. They will all end up mixed together anyways!
To make this salad heartier, I added shredded rotisserie chicken. The final additions were cashews for the crunch factor and cilantro for some extra herbaceousness.
The best part of the salad is the orange peanut dressing! It is a creamy dressing but still on the light side. It gets its creaminess from the delicious, luscious, and healthy light coconut milk. The orange and ginger add a nice spicy citrus punch. The peanut butter acts as a thickener to give the dressing some body and also a nutty taste. Plus, anything with peanut butter is bound to be good (I am slightly obsessed with peanut butter). It all comes together to create magic. And takes this salad to the next level!
There is one last step to making this salad complete. Pour the dressing on the salad and toss so all the veggies, herbs, cashews, and chicken are well combined and tossed in that that damn delicious dressing. Mmmmmmm!!! Time to eat!
Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with Orange Peanut Dressing
Orange Peanut Dressing Ingredients
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
- 2 tsps. honey (or more to taste depending on how sweet you like it)
- 2 tsps. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
- Juice and zest of half an orange
- 2-3 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (depending on how thick you want the dressing; more peanut butter = thicker consistency plus and more intense PB flavor).
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
- 1 cup purple cabbage
- ½ cup edamame
- ½ cup red pepper, julienned
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- 2-3 large carrots, shaved into ribbons
- ½ cup chopped brussel sprouts
- ½ cup cooked shredded chicken
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1-2 Tbsps. cilantro
- First make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients (except peanut butter) until well combined. Add in peanut butter one Tbsp. at a time until reach desired consistency and peanut butter flavor. I added 2 tablespoons.
- Next, make the salad by adding the romaine lettuce and Napa cabbage in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
- Add all the ingredients, except cilantro and cashews (for a pretty effect to showcase all the ingredients, group all of the separate ingredients together in sections around the bowl).
- Sprinkle cilantro and cashews on top.
- Pour dressing on the salad and toss to coat.
- Serve and enjoy!