Asian Chopped Salad with Chicken and Mandarins
I used to LOVE going to Cheesecake Factory and getting their Asian Chicken Salad, but sometimes you need a lighter option of your favorite meal and I was so happy to realize just how easy this was to recreate and improve on. All the flavor and a lot less guilt, both calorie wise and financially! You could easily prep the salad in bulk and keep it in your fridge and just add your protein (Chicken or shrimp), dressing and toppings as you wish throughout the week!
1/4 head green cabbage
¼ head red cabbage
½ head romaine lettuce
4 large kale leaves, with the stem and middle of the stem removed
2 green onions
½ cup crispy Asian noodles (wontons etc. optional)
¼ cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup mandarin orange segments
2 tbsp. minced ginger (the stuff in the squeeze bottle works great)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
4 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar would be fine as well)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sriracha (optional and to taste)
For the salad: chop all of your ingredients into small pieces, think half inches in size and toss together.
I served my salads with some grilled chicken for lunch but I think this would be an excellent dinner if you wanted to use some left over grilled chicken or even picked up a rotisserie chicken from the market and cut it into the salad! Toss about 3 tbsp. of dressing with 1.5 cups of salad and add 4 oz. of chicken or shrimp. I topped them with some crispy wonton noodles left over from a Chinese food run (love that they throw those in for free and we never eat them!) and some sliced almonds with some mandarin segments from a can. Super easy, much cheaper and with about ½ the calories as that Cheesecake Factory salad!