The days are getting warmer, the sun is shining brighter and I start thinking of vacation and looking my best to hit the beach. In my mind that means more healthy food on my plate, like this Mandarin Chicken Salad, fresh fish and lean meats and cooling smoothies rather than the cold weather comfort foods.
And don’t get me wrong, I love my comfort foods, but when summer hits, salads taste so good – they’re cool, fresh and have nice tangy flavors that just make your taste buds come alive. And with less heavy foods on my stomach, I feel more energetic and have a much more positive outlook.
Some of my favorite salads that I love to bring back at this time of year are Hearty Quinoa Salad, Strawberry Chicken Salad and my Red, White and Blue Salad. Even when I dine out, I tend towards ordering salads like my favorite Thai Chicken Salad at Houstons Restaurant. This Mandarin Chicken Salad recipe is quite similar, having a distinctive Asian flavor, but is lighter as it stays away from the peanut dressing and is tossed in a sesame oil-soy ginger mix.
The rice noodles in the salad are a nice change of pace and give it a little more substance than just a tossed salad. And who doesn’t like tangerines or mandarin oranges? That is just the icing on the cake for me as I am definitely a fruit-loving person. I was going to say fruity person but that just didn’t sound right. 🙂
Here’s to healthy summer salads and lookin’ good! Enjoy!
Mandarin Chicken Salad
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 teaspoons Thai-style chili sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4-5 mandarins or tangerines
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 3 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped (almost an entire head)
- 1 cup broccoli-carrot slaw
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup edamame or snow peas
- 3 green onions
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups maifun rice noodles,cooked
- 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped (reserve 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling on top)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, chopped cilantro
In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Just before pouring on salad, whisk once more.
You can make this dressing up to 2 days before. It will keep in refrigerator for 2 days.
Make just prior to serving.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except the noodles, 2 tablespoons of peanuts and the toasted sesame seeds. Pour in dressing to your taste and toss. Add noodles, toss again, sprinkle on toppings and serve immediately.