I 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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
Then toss in some green. Cucumber, cilantro, green onions, and edamame.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a great take-to-work salad as well because it stays rather crisp.
So on your next grocery trip, stock up on some healthy fridge-fillers and be ready to make something wholesome for yourself!
Healthy Thai Chicken Salad (for 1!)
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 cup coleslaw cabbage mix
1 cup shredded chicken (abt 4 oz)
1/2 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup edamame
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced cucumber (or celery)
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, PB2, or tahini would be good too
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil (try our yummy garlic oil!)
1 teaspoon agave or honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cashews or peanuts
Combine cabbage, chicken, quinoa, onion, edamame, cilantro, and cucumber. Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Top with chopped nuts and serve with a squeeze of lime juice.
Nutritional Info (calculated using PB2 and agave):
Cals: 399, Protein: 40, Fat: 14, Carbs 36.3
I got the PB2 for $4 at Big Lots!
This salad is the BOMB! I made it twice last week.
Love your blog!
Thanks for the tip on the PB2. I have seen it at Fred Meyer’s before but wondered what it would be like. This gave me the push to buy some and I was not disappointed! This salad was a yummy dinner tonight and now I have visions of the chocolate PB2 mixed in with a frozen banana smoothie… Healthy chocolate PB shake! Yum!
New favorite salad!! The dressing gives it such a great yummy flavor. Thank you for sharing this!!
Made this for the third time in a week! And I made one for my husband to bring to work tomorrow too! I need to try the PB2 though. I have been using peanut butter and the 1 T makes the dressing too thick, so I like the consistency better with 1/2 T. 🙂
I’m a long-time visitor (I think the first time I visited your blog was a few years back when you posted about strawberry sauce), but a first-time commenter. I made this salad for lunch Tuesday. And then again Wednesday. And Thursday, and…well, you get the picture. Really delicious!
One of the best recipes I’ve tried in a long time! Made this for lunch twice already! It will be a regular for lunch. Thank you!
Your recipe looks delicious, and I love your ideas for healthy foods to keep in the fridge. This’ll keep me from eating (as many) Goldfish and graham crackers with my kids!
Love this salad! I’ve eaten it twice for lunch now. I really appreciate the mommmy lunch posts; it’s an area where I struggle with ideas. Thanks again!
Tried this. It’s one of the most delicious salads I have ever had. Really yummy.
This was scoop yummy!!!!!
Just made this for lunch! Love it! Thank you!
this is fabulous! i added the lime juice and cilantro to the dressing to stretch it further. i also added shredded carrots and bell peppers to it for more veggies. had it 3 days in a row!
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I’m trying to diet and after days of a lean meat and steamed veggie this was heaven. Any other suggestions for lovely low calorie dishes?
Love this salad! I have been making a version like this for a while now, but your ingredient list gave me some new ideas!! I have to say though you are selling your son short by not serving him this for lunch alongside you. I make my version of this for my kids for lunch or dinner all the time and their plates are clean. Kids love PB and with the PB taste they chow down!
I’m so glad you have a “print this” key on your site! I hate wasting paper on other sites that don’t have this feature. Love the site and love this little (but environmentally big impact) feature!
I’ve got all the ingredients ready to throw together for lunch tomorrow. Yay! So excited to try it. Thanks for the healthy recipe. I admire your ability to eat healthily but still enjoy life and indulge periodically. You’re a great example! Loved your pic on insta today. Inspiring, my dear. 🙂
Sara, What else do you use the PB powder for? We aren’t smoothie people. 🙂 looks like my kind of salad
That quinoa looked beautiful! Especially with the edamame beans following – what a colorful dish!
This looks fantastic! Kroger/Owens carries PB2 in my area.
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!
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?
Yes, yes, and yes. 😉
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.
Can you buy the powdered PB2 or something similar at the grocery store as well?
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.
I’m guessing you could find it (or something like it) at stores like Whole Foods. I’ve never seen it in my normal grocery stores though…
I live in Charleston, SC so we have Harris Teeter, Publix, Food Lion. I might see if Trader Joe’s has it. Thanks!
I found it at Walmart by the regular peanut butter.
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.
This looks absolutely beautiful with all the different colors. So healthy and packed with protein. Perfect!
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!
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!
Jungle Safaris, haha! Yes, that, and also salad dressings, lol 😉
I love this idea for lunch! Thanks for posting something just for mom’s!
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.
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).
Can’t wait to gather the ingredients and bring in to work for a healthy, satisfying lunch! Keep up the great work ladies ☺