Sesame-Lime Chicken Salad

Something must be going wrong in the universe because I’ve been craving salad.  As in green leafy vegetables with other vegetables with a light dressing.  When, why and how did this happen?  I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore.  I’m specifically craving the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad from Panera Bread.  I could eat it morning, noon and night.  And there for a little while, I pretty much was.  I got a little embarrassed at my local Panera after my third night in a row there and hoped and prayed that different staff was working and didn’t recognize my loser self.  So I decided instead of spending money on this salad that I can’t get enough of, I might as well try to make my own.  This Sesame-Lime Chicken Salad comes pretty close.

Romaine lettuce, chicken, carrots and red pepper are mixed together with a light sesame-lime dressing.  Crispy Chinese noodles top the salad for crunch and toasted sesame seeds and cilantro are added for another layer of flavor.  Instead of a jalapeño pepper, I used a good old red pepper which I cut up and roasted in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  To add a little bit of heat and make it a little bit more like Panera’s salad, I threw some dashes of peanut sauce over the top too (my favorite is House of Tsang’s Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce).  Luckily this recipe makes one gigantic bowl of salad so I can eat it often without worrying that someone out there might be judging me.

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The ingredients:

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In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, chili, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the lettuce, carrots, and chicken and toss to combine.

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Serve the salad sprinkled with the sesame seeds, noodles, and cilantro.

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Additions:

  • Peanut sauce

Omissions:  none

Substitutions:

  • Red pepper

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Real Simple magazine

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