Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Redemption Salad

I recently started subscribing to Bon Appetit magazine (on a whim), and have to say that I am thrilled when I see it in my mailbox.  The beautiful cover images usually inspire me to open the magazine right then and there and start flipping through the recipes.  What I like best is that the recipes aren't too uppity, and the articles and commentary are actually quite humorous.  Needless to say, I have been pleasantly surprised.

Having just come back from almost a week in Las Vegas, indulging in several business meals, late night outings, and - let's face it - cocktails, I felt the need to start detoxing and getting myself back on track, asap. While going a little overboard in my grocery store's produce department, I made sure to get all of the ingredients for Redemption Salad, which I saw in the May 2013 issue of Bon Appetit.  The creator, Jenny Rosenstrach (of Dinner: A Love Story fame - added bonus!), describes it as "chicken tossed into a mound of Asian-style, nutrient-dense, guilt-erasing shredded cabbage and spinach...[i]f it's possible for a meal to make you feel healthy - to actually undo seven days of poor habits - this is the one."  I couldn't agree more.

I decided that this recipe was going to go straight to boxed lunches, so that I could eat healthy at work this week.  I adapted it slightly, and found that the recipe makes enough for four entree-sized salads.  Instead of mixing in the dressing and having the spinach wilt, I found these great mini-dip tubs at the Container Store and divided the dressing among them.  Keep reading for the recipe, and don't skip the dressing - the lime and ginger really make the salad!

Asian Chicken and Cabbage (i.e., Redemption) Salad
*slightly adapted from the original recipe

1 red jalapeno, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice - about 2 juicy limes
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tsp. grated peeled ginger
Kosher salt

1 bag organic baby spinach, chopped*
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
6 scallions, whites and pale greens only, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
3 Tbsp. chia seeds*
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

For dressing: Whisk jalapeno, oil, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and ginger in a large bowl; season with salt.

For salad: Mix spinach, carrots, scallions, chicken, and cilantro; toss with peanuts, sesame seeds, and chia seeds.

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