Saturday, October 1, 2011

Asian Chicken Salad

Want something crunchy, delicious, easy, primal and decadently Asian? So did I, so I whipped up this easy peasy Asian Chicken Salad. You can make a bunch of chicken ahead, chop and put it in the freezer for quick lunches or dinners when you really don't feel like making much. Get creative and clean out that fridge! I made this from ingredients I had on hand.

Asian Chicken Salad

1/2 cup soysauce, tamari, liquid aminos or coconut aminos (whichever you prefer)
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 stalks green onions
1 clove garlic, chopped

1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
lettuce and\or greens of your choice (spinach, arugula, etc)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
any other toppings of choice (this would be great with pickled ginger, bamboo shoots, almonds, toasted sesame seeds, other Asian veggies, whatever you've got! Also pairs well with kimchi.)

Balsamic vinegar
Sesame oil

1. Make the marinade: Combine soysauce, sesame oil, green onions and garlic.
2. Marinate chicken breasts for at least 5 minutes per side or longer (up to 30 minutes)
3. Dump the chicken and marinade into a grill pan and cook on both sides, turning to avoid excessive burning. Most of the marinade will absorb into the chicken.
4. Deglaze the pan with a little water to add more flavor or moisture if needed. Cook meat until no longer pink in the center (I'm guessing about 15 minutes, but could be longer depending on thickness of chicken breasts).
5. Let cool and prepare lettuce and greens. (Tip: If you tear your greens by hand, rather than cutting with a knife, they'll last longer.)
6. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces.
7. Arrange salad: Put the greens on a plate, topped with chicken. Grate the carrots with a potato peeler or grater directly over the plate. (You could also cut them into match stick sized pieces if you like them better that way).
8. Top with sunflower seeds and other toppings of choice. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and sesame oil.


Cost Breakdown: 

$3.16  - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bought on sale @ Hyvee for $1.58/lb
$0.99  - 1 head romaine or leaf lettuce, on sale @ Hyvee- .99 a bunch
$0.05  - 1/4 of an organic carrot, bought @ farmer's market for $1/bag
$0.02  - 1 clove garlic (I buy huge braids at Sam's Club for $4-$5)
$0.30  - 3 stalks green onions
$0.18  -1 tbsp sunflower seeds ($2.99/ 8 oz bag, approx 0.5 oz in a tbsp)
$0.23  - 3 tbsp sesame oil ($20/gallon, 256 tbsp in a gallon)
sprinkle of balsamic vinegar

TOTAL: $4.93

This makes 4-5 good sized salads (though you may need to add a bit more greens). Not bad for about $1/salad! A salad at a restaurant would easily cost you more than this entire recipe costs to make. (Funny how we'll often easily spend $5 or more on lunch or dinner out, but forget just how much we can get in grocery $$$ for the same amount!)

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