I love salads. I could eat them everyday and never get bored. However, over the years I’ve learned that I am more the exception than the norm. Salads, when made with the right ingredients, are an easy way to load up on nutrients while keeping it lower in calories. You get more bang for your buck. My favorite part about this salad is the longer it sits, the better it tastes! It’s PERFECT for meal prep Sunday’s because by Wednesday and thursday, the cabbage has softened and the flavors have become extra delicious. With it being 97 here over the weekend, I love that it’s COLD as well.
The base of this salad is cabbage. Normally I like to saute cabbage with onions and apples, or use in my lettuce wraps (recipe). Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, not a leafy green, and has a wealth of health benefits to offer us. It’s low calorie at only 34 calories a cup, offers us 94% of our daily dose of vitamin C (which we get when we eat it raw as cooking lessens the amount), also provides us with vitamin K1, manganese, folate, calcium, potassium, B-6, and thiamin. Consuming cabbage aides in weight loss and maintenance after loss, has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts the immune system.
After the cabbage I wanted to add a bunch of color. Pretty food just tastes better. I added red cabbage, shredded carrots (I bought the pre shredded bag from my grocery store), red bell pepper, green onion, and mandarin oranges.
Normally I like to keep my recipes simple, but sometimes things require more ingredients because they just taste better that way. This is one of them. The flavors complement the salad nicely. For me, I usually have all this stuff on hand anyways. If you want to try this salad and aren’t sure how you’ll use the ingredients again, here are some ways I use them or substitutions you can make:
- Tahini I use to make my own hummus and add to lettuce wraps stuffed with chicken and raw veggies.
- Sunbutter I have used in previous recipes, but peanut butter or almond butter would work just as well.
- If you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar would work just as well. Distilled white vinegar would not taste good in this recipe.
- I keep lemon on hand for flavoring my water. It’s alkalizing to the body and a great boost of vitamin C. Highly recommend drinking lemon water daily.
- For the little bit of orange juice in the recipe, I just squeezed the juice from an orange we had in our fruit bowl. No need to buy orange juice if you won’t drink it.
This recipe paleo, grain free, gluten free, soy free, and has a nut-free option.
Asian Inspired Chopped Salad
- 4 cups shredded napa cabbage the green one (1/2 a head)
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 red bell pepper
- 11 oz can mandarin oranges in juice juice drained
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 2 green onions
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp sunbutter or peanut butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp honey
- Take your chicken breast and boil it until full cooked. Chop into small pieces.
- Shred cabbage. Chop bell pepper into 1-2 inch pieces, slice up green onions and drain juice from mandarin oranges.
- Toss everything except the oranges into a large bowl.
- In a medium sized bowl, add in all ingredients for the dressing. Then whisk or use an immersion blender to mix everything together until smooth. Pour on top of the salad and mix until all the vegetables are evenly covered.
- Add in oranges and gently mix into salad.
- Your salad is now ready to serve or to separate into containers and enjoy all week!