a refreshing and hearty salad: savoy cabbage, organic chicken with satsumas & sesame-ginger dressing {aka chinese chicken salad}!

how to make a good quality delicious chinese chicken salad at home in less than 30 minutes:

minette's chinese chicken saladthe night before super bowl sunday my daughter decided to have her friends over to watch the game. she asked me if i could make some fun stuff to eat for the gathering, and before i could open my mouth in response (my mind was already going a million miles a minute with great ideas) she reminded me this was a group of teenagers, and they’d want at least some foods you’d typically expect to eat while watching the big game. okayyyyy. such as, I asked? “can

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you make chicken wings”? she says- – hmnnnnn. not really? she decides she needs to make some calls for feedback, and i decide that no matter what, we’ll need to have a {semi-healthy} salad on the menu. i’ve been craving a good home made “chinese chicken salad” for a while, so it’s first on the list without hesitation. the rest of the  choices eventually comes together like this: chips and home made salsa, amazingly delicious home made ribs courtesy kristen’s dad (wow wow wow), chicken wings (thanks to the frozen section at whole foods) with organic cut celery and ranch dressing, ken’s delicious home made onion dip (must ask for the recipe) with chips, (did i mention my huge bowl of crunchy yumminess of a chicken salad?), a selection of cheeses with sliced baguettes,

superbowl party

getting ready…

chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, mini brownies, homemade cookies, macaroons….i’m almost embarrassed to go on….we were feeding a group of hungry teenagers-what can i say? i had so little time to put it all together that i took a few shortcuts with my salad-it was so easy to prepare and a big hit!

baked sesame ginger chicken breasts

baked sesame ginger chicken breasts

  • 1 small savoy (or nappa) cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 1 romaine or iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • a bunch of organic green onions, thinly sliced
  • a good sized bunch of fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 whole organic roasted chicken, meat (mostly the white meat) removed and finely sliced-or, use this recipe to make the sesame ginger chicken breasts at home, then slice them up
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3-4 mandarin oranges (satsumas), peeled and sliced, then separated
  • fried wontons (you can buy these or fry them at home rather easily)
  • toasted sesame seedsphoto 1

for the sesame-ginger dressing:

  • 3 tbs vegetable oil (i used avocado)
  • 2-3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar (adjust amount if necessary)
  • 1 tsp lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • a good chunk of grated ginger (use microplane)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (for spicy)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • if you like it on the sweeter side, add 2-3 tsp raw honey

whisk all the ingredients together, taste and adjust quantities, then add to salad and toss just before serving. crunch.

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shaved fennel & brussels sprouts salad {i finally got a mandoline}!

oh the possibilities! i’ve been thinking about getting a mandoline for a while now (love the way it shaves vegetables almost paper thin), but i seem to have a mental block about adding gadgets to my kitchen-they create clutter, confuse things, and need to be cleaned! having said that, my lovely sister bought me a simple and easy to use mandoline (thank you) that shaved two heads of fennel and 10 brussels sprouts into a beautiful salad for me in a matter of minutes. this gadget is a keeper. so is the salad recipe, by the way. i made the mistake of dressing it with my ginger-soy dressing (recipe to follow), but it is really much better (as in a must) with a lemon-parmesan dressing  which allows the delicate flavor of the fennel to shine through. when using the ginger soy dressing i would substitute the fennel with napa cabbage (no need to use the mandoline) and add sesame seeds and sliced toasted almonds for a delicious asian style salad. 
for 4-6 servings:

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, shaved (or thinly sliced)
  • 8-10 brussels sprouts, shaved (or thinly sliced)
  • 2-3 mandarin oranges (clementines), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (optional)
*keep the tender greens from the fennel for garnish
for lemon-parmesan dressing:

  • juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tbs)
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbs good quality grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
whisk together

ginger-soy dressing (for napa cabbage & brussels sprouts salad)

  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root (use microplane grater)
  • 2-3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • whisk together
(substitute fennel with napa cabbage, add sliced toasted almonds)
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