Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad - Under 250 Calories

I love a great, crisp flavorful salad. And I love cabbage. This gets me both in one heaping bowl. Also, because cabbage doesn't wilt but rather gets better as it soaks up dressing, it's great to make ahead on a Sunday afternoon and keep chilled in the fridge for work lunches all week long.

For the salad - you'll need:
- 1/3-1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped (or 6 cups of chopped cabbage total)
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- 11 oz can of mandarin oranges
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup pulled or chopped cooked chicken
- Optional - 1/3 cup cooked, shelled edamame
- Optional - 2 sheets of wonton wrappers, "fried"

Note- in an ideal world this salad is really bright and colorful if you mix purple and green cabbage, but they didn't have purple cabbage at the store this time and I don't know what I would do with that much leftover cabbage, so unless you're trying to impress guests, feel free to pick one color and stick with it.

To keep the sugar low overall in this salad make sure to thoroughly rinse the mandarin oranges. I used some leftover chicken from a Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, and I'd recommend leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken in general, but poached or grilled chicken breasts would work fine too.

Then mix all the ingredients above into a large bowl that will be great for fridge storage. If you want to do the wonton wrappers for a crunch, spray a frying pan with some olive oil and "fry" them until they're brown and crisp over medium high heat. I only added them to the salad because I happened to have them in the fridge. Otherwise, the almonds bring enough crunch to balance the salad out.

That's all for part one, and now we're going to make our dressing.

For the dressing - you'll need:
- 3 tbs hoisin or plum sauce
- 3 tbs rice vinegar
- 1.5 tbs agave nectar
- 2 tsp Sriracha
- 1.5 tsp sesame oil
- 1.5 tsp dried ginger (or cinnamon in a pinch if you're like me and forgot to buy ginger)

Take everything above in a small bowl. Whisk it together. Pour it over the chopped salad ingredients and toss thoroughly. And you're done!

Serve chilled. Makes about 4 large servings.

Calories without the dressing, wontons or edamame: 165 cals a serving
Calories with the dressing (no wontons or edamame): 240 cals a serving