What's for Dinner: Chinese Chicken Salad


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Chinese Chicken Salad

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Normally, I don't give diet books even a second glance. (I'm a big believer in the "everything in moderation" philosophy of eating.) I do, however, love Men's Health editor David Zinczenko's "Eat This, Not That!" series of books, so when I saw his name on this soon-to-be-released title, I had to take a look.

He describes the dinner salad below as "fusion cuisine at its finest." I'm more taken by its ease. A satisfying (and low-cal) dish you can toss together in less than 10 minutes it's perfect for this time a year, when so many of us are multitasking with baking, shopping, decorating and wrapping gifts.

To short cut, substitute bottled dressing.

For salad

  • 1 small head napa cabbage

  • 1/2 head red cabbage

  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked rotisserie chicken

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil

  • 1/3 cup peanut oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 1/2-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Slice the cabbages in half lengthwise and remove the cores. Slice them into thin strips. Toss with sugar in a large bowl. Add chicken, cilantro, oranges and almonds.

Make vinaigrette. Place vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame and peanut oils, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. (I whisked it by hand.)

Add dressing, little by little, to salad until it is coated to your liking; you should use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. (Recipe makes 11/2 cups.) Toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper.

If adding cold chicken to salad, toss it first with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette and heat in microwave at 50 percent power.

Serves 4.

-- Adapted from "The 8-Hour Diet" by David Zinczenko with Peter Moore (Rodale, Dec. 24, 2012, $26.99)

recipes - whatsfordinner

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.


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