About The Saturday Chef

Midwest, United States
I am NOT a professional chef. I am what I affectionately dub a Saturday Chef—a weekend warrior of the culinary variety, fortified by the education I have gleaned from two high school cooking classes, the Food Network and my own gastronomical experiments. While I’m not ashamed to spend all day making bagels by hand, and proudly call myself a foodie, I’m not a food snob. I enjoy an Extra Value Meal as much as the next girl. My culinary escapades are still relegated to the weekends, but my love for cooking is stronger than ever, galvanized by more successes than failures, and the beautiful fact that the more I cook, the more people there are to feed. So please stay tuned for fun recipes, inevitable disasters and hopefully, a lot of good food.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Veggies At Last: Asian Chicken Salad

I was perusing my blog last week, tweaking older recipes and deleting some embarrassing ones, and I noticed that there was nary a vegetable side dish or entrĂ©e posted.  And I worried if people thought that I didn’t like vegetables or if I had scurvy.

While I don’t crave the sweet crunch of a carrot, I am pretty partial to vegetables.  Thus, I immediately looked for a scrumptious veggie-only dish to post.
For the record, I actually love salad, especially a good Greek one with no anchovies and lots of feta and black olives.  But I digress. This salad is different as it uses Napa Cabbage, which is a new, and pretty awesome, ingredient for me.   I really loved the idea of using a peeler to shave ribbons of carrots and how the whole thing came together rather quickly with the work of my Ginsus.  This salad is very refreshing and sweet, and while I didn’t photograph it with the low mein noodles, they are the perfect addition of crunch and texture.  The dressing is tangy and a little sweet, and compliments all ingredients wonderfully. 

Don’t worry, fellow Saturday Chefs, this might be the first veggie-centric post, but it will not be the last!  

Asian Chicken Salad
Adapted from recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
1 large carrot, peeled
3 cups shredded napa cabbage, about ½ of a cabbage
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce, from 1 small romaine heart
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 cups chicken breasts, cooked
Chow Mein Noodles, optional
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Black Pepper, optional

For the salad: Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrot and add to a large salad bowl. Stir in the cabbage, lettuce, red bell pepper, mint, and chicken. *If you're a vegetarian, just nix the chicken.
For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar until smooth.  Season with pepper, to taste, if using.
Plate salad in a mound, spoon a bit of the dressing over the salad and toss. Garnish with the chow mein noodles and serve.
Chef’s Note:  I only dress an entire salad if I know the majority of it will be eaten.  Otherwise, I just dress the salad on the plates just before serving. 

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