Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chinese Chicken Salad

Tonight, we had the first harvest from our garden: lettuce. We planted a lettuce mixture and had big salads for dinner. It was simple to throw together, and probably could have easily been even more awesome with a couple tweaks, which I'll offer as options.

It's hard to see, but in the left box, at the bottom (and the middle), that's the lettuce we still have after cutting three big plates full (also pictured: peas, carrots, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, some other stuff, and a squash plant).

1/4 c. light olive oil
1-2 green onions, chopped
1 T. coconut aminos (or soy sauce, if that's your thing).
1/2 T. ground ginger (or fresh, if that's your thing)
4 chicken thighs or breasts (or more)
a whole lotta lettuce
mandarin oranges (optional)
sliced almonds (optional)

First, make your dressing to allow the flavors to blend. You can do this several hours in advance, but if you don't, just make sure it's the first thing you do. Combine the oil, green onions, coconut aminos, and ginger in a small bowl or salad dressing mixer. Mix with a fork or whisk (or, obviously, the mixing part of the dressing mixer).

Put your chicken in a steamer with water in the bottom. I like to oil the steamer so the chicken doesn't stick and it makes less mess. Bacon grease works just fine for this, at least for me. Cover and turn your burner to high. Set timer for 20 minutes and let time and temperature do their thing.

Plate your lettuce. Cut as much of the chicken as you want into bite-sized pieces, and put it on top of the lettuce. Mix the dressing again, because it's probably settled.
Seriously, you let it sit for 5 seconds and it settles out.

I didn't think about mandarin oranges or almonds until I was done, but I'm sure they would be great. Truthfully, the salad's just fine without adding fruit or nuts to it, so don't feel like you need them to have a good salad.

And there it is: from garden to table! Here's to many more meals from our own back yard (note: okay, you caught me--most of the meal did not come from our back yard. We're not growing olives to press for oil, I don't have ginger growing, or coconuts. I don't even have chickens roaming the yard, and I didn't get my own green onions from the garden either. I'm basically a big foodie fraud.)

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