Monday, April 2, 2012

90 degree Spring?

Somewhere the weather here took a turn for summer much faster than it should have, perfect illustration of that fact: yesterday my sister, mom and I met up with my grandmother in San Antonio for the day.  We packed a picnic, wandered some of our favorite thrift stores, a normal  spring day I could've gotten by with a t-shirt and jeans and not been sweating to, yesterday I wore a tank top and shorts and there were a few times where I think I might've been overdressed still.  It's a really good sign that it's ungodly hot here already and it's just April 2.  Needless to say cooking with a stove hasn't really been at the top of my list in this weather, lots of grilling, plenty of cold meals and salads. 

I'm kind of picky about salad, I hate iceberg lettuce, it's void of any flavor in my opinion, isn't quite as nutritious as it's pretty dark green cousins (or red ones for that matter) and frankly it's boring.  No wonder I don't love salad, iceberg, ick.  For years salad meant pasty looking iceberg lettuce to me, no my mom (who is an amazing cook) didn't force-feed us iceberg but it's just what I associated salad with.  As I've learned to expand my definition of salad I've become a bigger advocate of them, you'll see, perusing any salad recipes I post, many don't even have lettuce in them but iceberg is definitely not featured here!   This salad is no exception, a few weeks back I was getting head after head of cabbage in my Farmhouse Delivery boxes, green, napa, red, you name it, I got it.  So I made slaw, a lot. I wouldn't call this a slaw since I feel like slaw is another one of those terms with not so pretty connotations but I'd say it's a cabbage salad instead. 

Asian Red Cabbage Salad with Pan Roasted Chicken

1 Small Head Red Cabbage, Chopped
1/2 - 3/4 Cups Green Onions, Chopped
1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Pineapple (no sugar added)
2 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Hemp Hearts

1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
2 Tbsp Coconut Vinegar
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Tsp Minced Ginger

3 Chicken Breasts
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos

1. Coat chicken in sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and coconut aminos, let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Once chicken is ready, head a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil, once skillet is hot add chicken and brown well on each side, cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken but mine took about 8 minutes on each side before it was cooked through.  As it was cooking I poured the leftover marinade over the chicken.
3. Once chicken is cooked, slice and set aside. 
4. To make dressing, mix vinegars, coconut aminos, garlic and ginger together.  Slowly add oil in, whisking continuously so that the oil is well incorporated and doesn't separate.
5. Toss salad with dressing, top with sesame seeds, hemp hearts and chicken.

A quick note about one of the salad toppings listed above (and shown below), Hemp Hearts.  I stumbled across these in my local Whole Foods recently, they are a great nutty, crunchy topping for things and I've just started using them.  I loved the nutty flavor and they have super healthy benefits, they are rich in Omega's with a great balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 and also are a great source of gamma-linoleic acid which has been shown to support healthy skin, hair and nails. Tasty and good for you, double win!


grace said...

hemp hearts sound macabre at first, but i like how you've described them! and i'll jump at any excuse to eat red cabbage. happy easter!

Jessica | Cajunlicious said...

I am in love with your dressing!