Healthy Thai Chicken Salad {For 1!}

Thai salad introI honestly feel like it’s been an eternity since I’ve written an actual recipe post.  While I love holidays, and I love having my kids home from school on break, I also love it when it’s time to restore order to the world and get back to our old routine.  Or let’s be honest- routine in general.  I’m guessing lots of you made goals for the New Year, and I’m sure many of you included at least one about healthy eating in there so here’s a recipe to get you started.  This falls into that category I like to call Momma-Lunch.  You’ll notice the recipe is written to serve 1, because this is something I whip up while my kids are at school and my toddler is eating chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers.  There’s truth in the idea that stocking your fridge well will help you eat well.  Also, a little planning.  One thing I do every few days is bake up several boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Depending on what we have for dinner during the week, it often works to just cook a little extra of something, or if I’m going to Costco I grab a rotisserie chicken, but otherwise, I just season them with salt, pepper, and garlic, and bake them in the oven.  (Here’s a good post on that.)  That way I always have the base for a good lunch.

Shredded Chicken Breast

I love salads for lunch, but in order to actually fill me up and not have me rummaging through the pantry an hour later, it has to be a good, filling salad.  That’s where all of this comes in.  If you keep some fresh veggies on hand, this only takes a few moments to whip up and it tastes like a fancy, gourmet restaurant salad- without the fancy gourmet restaurant calories.  This little bowl packs a punch with a whopping 40 grams of protein, and at under 400 calories, it fits in perfectly to a healthy diet.

Thai Salad Ingredients

I almost always have a bag of coleslaw mix in my fridge.  I like it because it doesn’t wilt quickly, so I use a little bit here and there.  It’s great as a base to a salad like this, or tossed into a stir-fry or skillet meal.

Cabbage Mix

Another thing I often do is keep a container of cooked quinoa in my fridge.  Again, if I’m cooking some anyway for a recipe during the week, I just make extra.  Otherwise, I make a pot and just keep the container in the fridge.  It will last all week and I add it to my morning oatmeal (or you can turn it into an amazing breakfast dish), or a few spoonfuls to a bowl of soup, or mix it with ground beef, or in a salad like this.  With protein, fiber, and amino acids, It’s one of the world’s super foods, and if you have it all ready to go in your fridge, you’ll find yourself using it!  (Click Here for a post all about quinoa- including how to cook it)

Red Quinoa

So, just toss a big handful of the cabbage mix into a bowl and add shredded chicken and a scoop of quinoa (red or white).

Chicken and Quinoa

Then toss in some green.  Cucumber, cilantro, green onions, and edamame.

Veggie Packed Salad

Check the freezer section of your grocery store for bags of shelled edamame like this (not in their pods).  It makes it super quick and easy to just grab a handful and you can add it to all sorts of dishes.  Surprisingly, my kids even like to snack on these.

Edamame

For this Thai-inspired salad, I wanted a peanut flavored dressing.  While nut butters are absolutely a part of a healthy diet (and can certainly be used here) if I want to save on calories I use PB2.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically powdered peanut butter.  It’s not some weird peanut-flavored powder, it’s actually 100% roasted peanuts that have been pressed and then the oil is removed.  The peanut part is ground up into basically a powder.  You can mix it with water to create peanut-butter consistency, or I just use it in the powdered form to add to things like smoothies.   It has a fraction of the calories of regular peanut butter (85% less fat calories).  I don’t use it for things like baking (c’mon, real peanut butter has it’s place!) but I do think it works great for things like this. I buy it from Amazon.

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

I add just a teaspoon of good-for-you olive oil.  This is a perfect place for our Artisan Our Best Bites Garlic Olive Oil.  It allows you to add a hint of garlicky flavor, without having to bust open and mince a garlic glove.  You can check out all of our custom olive oils in our shop!

OBB Garlic Oil

To round out the flavor, I just add a bit of rice vinegar and soy sauce and for a hint of sweetness, a drizzle of agave (honey would work too).  If you want some heat, add a squirt of Sriracha or other hot sauce.

PB in Thai Sauce

Just whisk it up and pour it over your salad.  If you’re used to salads drenched in dressing, this might be new for you.  It’s just a light coating, but enough to give everything plenty of flavor, without drowning the good-for-you stuff.

Thai Peanut Dressing

As a finishing touch for both crunch and flavor, toss in a few cashews. I just break them with my fingers as I drop them in.

Cashews

This is a good sized salad (that’s not all of it shown in my bowl).  And with not only vegetables, but plenty of chicken, and whole grains from the quinoa, it actually fills you up.

Our Best Bites Skinny Thai Salad

This is a great take-to-work salad as well because it stays rather crisp.

Protein Packed Thai Chicken Salad from Our Best Bites

So on your next grocery trip, stock up on some healthy fridge-fillers and be ready to make something wholesome for yourself!

Healthy and Filling Thai Chicken Salad from Our Best Bites

 

 

OBB Shop is Open

52 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’d love to see more “mom lunches” like this one. Can’t wait to try quinoa in my salad… I’ve never done that before!

  2. I am excited about this recipe! I have a really hard time with lunches, so I am always thrilled to see recipes like this, delicious and keep my daily calories in check. Keep them coming! I purchased your extra virgin olive oil the moment you guys made the announcement (love it!). Since the garlic olive oil sounds like it would make this so much more delicious, I guess I’m going to *have* to go to your store and buy that one too! 😉 While I’m at it, I should totally go with the 3-pack and get all three flavors! Don’t you think?

  3. Your January healthy recipe posts are my all time favorite of the year!! And I use them all year long!! Super excited to start the year with some real “meals” again 🙂 thanks for sharing.

    1. I know they sell it in the organic section of my local grocery chain (Wegmans if you live in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic and are lucky enough to have it). The brand they carry is called “Just Great Stuff” or something like that…but I’m pretty sure it’s the same thing.

      1. I live in Charleston, SC so we have Harris Teeter, Publix, Food Lion. I might see if Trader Joe’s has it. Thanks!

    2. They sell it a Costco in a big tub. It might be a different brand but it’s the same stuff, it’s on the peanut butter and jelly aisle.

  4. I love this! I have all the ingredients on hand, and I’m looking forward to change from my regular boring lunch salad. Thank you!

  5. I’m an absolute peanut butter addict and I’d seen the powdered peanut butter in the store, but always figured its purpose was for hiking or sailing adventures or jungle safaris (because of its relative light weight and packability). Now I am so excited to have a fantastic (and healthy)(and genius) way to use it! More ways to get peanut butter into my food are always good with me, and this looks fantastic. Thanks!

  6. Looks delish! Do you reconstitute the PB2 or can you just mix the powder into your dressing? It looks like you either reconstituted or used regular peanut butter, but I wanted to be sure.

    1. Ellie, I reconstituted it for these photos because I figure most people will just be using regular peanut butter. If it’s just me whipping this up at home real quick, I just toss powder into my dressing (with no additional liquid for the PB since this dressing is very thin anyway).

  7. Can’t wait to gather the ingredients and bring in to work for a healthy, satisfying lunch! Keep up the great work ladies ☺

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