I had the best birthday week last week. First, Hubby and kids blasted me with an entire day’s worth of fun and good eats, which I wrote about in this divine BEST EVER Angel Food Cake post. If you missed that one, take a moment to go there and bookmark it. Because even if you don’t think you like angel food cake, it’s because you haven’t had this one. Bold, I know. But true.
The day after my birthday, my gorgeous girlfriends threw me a fun shindig. Colorful balloons, pretty flowers, and specialty cake all included. Plus, all our wild and happy kids joined in our fun. We mamas sort of morphed into giddy little girls ourselves, laughing and gabbing the time away. I still can’t believe it’s been over five years…
Just over five years ago, Hubby and I took the dare (leap of faith, actually) and left our balmy abode in sunny Southern California. The place where we grew up, lived, and loved. We uprooted ourselves from our little cape cod home, where our first two boys were born just minutes away from the ocean… and planted ourselves square in this wild-weathered ground of Minnesota we now call home.
It took me a long time to get plugged in, as the Midwest is different on so many levels from the West Coast. After the initial culture shock wore off, we (rather, I) struggled through the frigid winters. The trading of year-round flip flops for nearly year-round boots required a major wardrobe (and attitude) change. But it was neither the culture nor the weather that was hardest for me. The toughest part of transplant life? Being so far from family. Not having any friends.
It took me a long time to finally dig my heals in, embrace the change, and form friendships that are authentic and real.
So, it’s with blessed amazement that I saw myself on my birthday, standing amongst such extraordinary women whom I call my sister-friends.
This Chinese (Asian) Chicken Salad is for all who celebrated with me last week, and those who couldn’t make it. I could put up a photo of these gorgeous gals, but I won’t. A sister might really not like how she looked in a spontaneous pic and not want it forever imbedded in the internet abyss. I’m a good friend 🙂
ALL my fabulous readers — you are in for a TREAT with this salad. Sweet, savory, tangy sesame dressing is drizzled over crisp greens, tender chicken, and crispy noodles. I’m quite sure you’ll love it. Just in time for spring (?!) and summer!
Chinese Chicken Salad
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar, found in most stores' Asian aisles
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 TB regular soy sauce
- 2 TB pure honey
- 3 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 TB Asian toasted sesame oil, caramel brown in color
- ⅓ cup canola or olive oil
- Dash garlic powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 TB toasted sesame seeds
For the Salad:
- ½ head Napa cabbage, finely shredded
- ½ head Romaine lettuce, finely shredded
- Half of a large cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, or freshly cooked chicken breasts, shredded
- 1 can, 15 oz mandarin oranges, drained
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ½ cup crispy chow mein noodles, dried ramen noodles may be substituted
- In a bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until well blended. Transfer to desired container and keep chilled.
- When ready to serve: In salad bowl, toss together Napa cabbage, Romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, and enough dressing to coat the veggies well. Gently toss in shredded chicken and mandarin oranges, sprinkling in more dressing as desired. Garnish top of salad with almonds and crispy noodles. Serve immediately.
- * Unused dressing may be kept in an airtight container in fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Did you make this?
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Source: Chew Out Loud
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