I am waist-deep in the Paleo diet and things are going well. I imagined it would be very difficult to give up processed sweets and starches, but it was much easier than I thought. Turns out, if you don’t eat sweets and a bunch of carbs, your body just stops craving them. Who knew?! Well, then, what do you eat without these? Vegetables. Yes, those things that grow in the ground and sometimes in your compost pile. This actually happened a few years ago when some pumpkin seeds we tossed into the compost sprouted back to life a few weeks later. I have really gained a new appreciation for fresh vegetables. I have also learned that growing your own vegetables in hot and ever-changing Arkansas summers can be tricky. This was a great year for peppers, but our neighbor’s apples bit the dust when we had two late freezes. Props to all those hard-working small farmers in northwest Arkansas providing us with delicious foods!
Back to the salad. This cabbage based salad goes well with just about any grilled meat and you could do a number of different dressings with it. A raspberry or strawberry vinaigrette would be great also. I wanted to give it an Asian flair so I added a lot of fresh ginger, sesame oil and apple cider vinegar. This makes for a really tart and nutty flavor in the dressing that goes well with the mandarin oranges, chicken and cabbage.
I cheated a little with this salad and got a precut bag of cabbage at the grocery store. If you are serving a bigger crowd than two it makes sense to buy a whole red cabbage and a whole green cabbage, but I did not want a lot of leftovers so I opted for the bag. Be sure to marinate the chicken in the dressing for at least 30 minutes so that it soaks up some of the delicious flavor. I didn’t think about it beforehand, so mine only got about 30 minutes of marinade time.
PREP TIME: 50 MINUTES COOK TIME: 12 MINUTES SERVINGS: 5-6
- 1 lb. chicken breast , boneless and skinless
- 3 tbsp. minced ginger root
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 bag chopped cabbage
- 4 mandarin oranges, peeled
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Mix ginger, garlic, sesame oil, vinegar, coconut oil, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Blend these ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place chicken into a separate bowl and cover with 3-4 tablespoons of dressing. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill chicken breasts for about 6 minutes per side or until done throughout. Set aside and let cool.
- Mix together cabbage, oranges and carrots in a large bowl. Cut chicken into small pieces and mix into salad. Top with remaining dressing and cilantro. Enjoy!