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Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

With Memorial Day officially in the tail lights, it’s time to begin ushering in the warm weather season. The boys have one week of school left and then we  turn off the alarm clocks and turn on the lazy days of summer. Well… maybe not so lazy if you’re in this family. We’re taking a week to recover and then it’s full steam ahead with camps, travels and summer school programs. This year we’ll be coasting everywhere from Delaware to Hilton Head to Minneapolis and back again. I’m actually going to be attempting my first overnight drive cross country with all three boys and no husband in tow for moral support (and associated heavy lifting). Wish me lots and lots of luck; I’ll be fortunate to make it out in one piece.


Along with the rising mercury comes the transition to warm weather food and, for me,  nothing says summer quite like a fresh and healthy salad.  Cooking Light recently sent me a couple new cookbooks to add to my collection.  Both of them were definite keepers, but the one that especially caught my eye was their Salad Collection.

As I was paging through the assortment of meals, I came upon a Thai salad that literally had my name written all over it.  Honestly, how can you go wrong when peanut butter’s involved?  Ok, yes, I’m still a child at heart.  Now pass me a spoon and the jar, pronto!

This meal takes a mere twenty minutes if you follow it to the letter.  I, of course, deviated a bit as I had no rotisserie chicken and subsequently had to roast my own.  No matter.  It was still a perfect choice for a weeknight warm weather dish.

To toss up a quick eat, grab a bowl and drop in your salad fixings.

For the dressing, eat one spoonful of peanut butter (shh… I won’t tell if you don’t) and then add two more to a small saucepan along with a pour of coconut milk, a little lime juice, soy sauce, and cayenne.

Heat it up to boiling and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.  And…. you’re all done.  Told you it was speedy!  Here’s the finished salad ready to be consumed.  You can almost see the vultures my family twiddling their thumbs in the background ready to pounce on it at any moment.

So what are your fun summer plans?  Anything exciting on the calendar for those coveted months off?

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Yield: 4 Adult Sized Servings

Total Time: 20 min

Taken from Cooking Light with Minor Adaptations

Ingredients:

6 Cups Romaine Lettuce, Roughly Chopped
2 Cups Boneless, Skinless Rotisserie Chicken (I used chicken pieces roasted with salt, pepper and garlic powder)
2 Cups Bean Sprouts (I used spring pea shoots)
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
3/4 Cup Chopped Celery
2/3 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (I used 1/2 of a lime, squeezed)
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I used three)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder (My addition to the recipe)
2 Tbsp Chopped Peanuts

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together the first five ingredients: the lettuce, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots and celery.

In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, sugar, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, pepper and ginger.

Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.

Serve the warm dressing over the top of the salad. Sprinkle peanuts to finish.

Amount per serving

Calories: 262, Fat: 11.2g, Saturated fat: 3.7g, Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g, Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5g, Protein: 27.5g, Carbohydrate: 17.1g, Fiber: 4.4g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Iron: 2.3mg, Sodium: 599mg, Calcium: 67mg