Dinner in 20: Chinese Chicken Salad
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Dinner in 20: Chinese Chicken Salad

Whip up a healthy dinner in just 20 minutes! This chicken salad recipe is rich in protein to keep you full and nutrients and flavor from fresh vegetables.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes

1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup peeled fresh ginger, sliced, plus 1 tablespoon finely grated
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup coarsely chopped scallion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small napa cabbage, cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


1. Rinse chicken and pat dry.

2. Bring 4 cups water, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, ginger slices, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to a boil in a large saucepan. Add chicken; simmer 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, until chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain pan and discard ginger slices. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice.

3. To make dressing, whisk together remaining rice vinegar, the grated ginger, remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, 2 tablespoons water, and scallion in a large bowl; add salt and pepper.

4. Toss cabbage, bell pepper, and carrot together. Top with chicken slices and sesame seeds and drizzle with dressing.

Nutrition facts per serving: 295 calories, 30g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 14.5 g fat (2g saturated), 3g fiber

Zesty Vinaigrette

In a blender, combine 1/4 cup water with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon honey. Add 1/2 cup olive or canola oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot; blend until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition facts per 2 tablespoons: 86 calories, 0g protein, 3g carbohydrate, 9g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber

Recipe courtesy of John Scardapane, head chef and CEO of Saladworks, a national salad chain.

Healthy Salad How-Tos

Punch up the color.

Toss your lettuce (spinach, romaine, and field greens are the most nutritious) with a rainbow of veggies, such as tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers.

Pick a protein.

Tofu, beans, chicken, turkey, fish -- all of these are good sources to keep you satisfied. Stick with one and you won't go overboard.

Watch the add-ons.

A sprinkle of cheese or nuts is okay, but skip the calorie bombs, like bacon bits and croutons.

Dress for success.

Instead of mayo-based toppings, like ranch, opt for a vinaigrette made with olive or canola oil.

Source: Carolyn O'Neil, RD, coauthor of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2009.