Sometimes you get a very serious craving and nothing else can get done until it’s satisfied. That happened to me with this Chinese Chick’n salad. Whether you chose to use faux chicken, some sesame baked tofu, or no protein at all, the salad itself also shines bright all on its own. I just love Gardein crispy tenders. They are like crack. Trader Joe’s makes a version of them as well. What can I say, I’m a sucker for vegan junk food.
I swapped out the traditional romaine for lacinato kale to give it some richer color and a formidable CRUNCH! The great thing about this salad as well, is that it holds up in the fridge, even if it’s already been dressed. This makes it a great leftovers-for-lunch-the-next-day meal. It’s also quick to throw together. And since we already have the faux chicken strips, this salad needed some healthy upgrades to off-set the greasy breaded tenders. This updated version of the salad gets a lot of added pizazz with a generous amount of fresh herbs. Gone are the canned syrup-soaked mandarin oranges and deep fried wonton strips. In their place we have fresh tangerine segments and crushed peanuts. Spicy, cool, nutty, crunchy, tangy, sweet, and refreshing, try the flavor explosion for yourself!
Chinese Chick’n Salad: A Flavor Explosion
Makes about 4 servings
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
10 leaves of lacinato kale, stems removed and finely shredded
1 cup shredded carrots
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and leaves chopped (about 12 sprigs)
1 bunch mint, stems removed and leaves chopped (about 12 sprigs)
1/2 bell, finely chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
12 gardein crispy tenders, or protein of your choice
1-2 tangerines, peeled and sectioned
Chinese Chick’n Salad Dressing:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2.5 tbs peanut butter
2 tsp hot sesame oil
2.5 tb agave
1 tb coconut oil
Cook the Gardein strips according to the package. I put mine on a foil lined pan in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Taste it and adjust any flavors as needed. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss really well. The salad will shrink a bit in size as you toss so don’t worry if it seems like a huge amount of veggies when you start!
Once cooked, slice up the chicken strips.
To serve, put a big heap of salad on each plate. Top with chicken strips and tangerine segments. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top. DIG IN!