Laura Rennie

Around here // Thai crunch salad (CPK inspired)

Around hereLaura RennieComment

I tried a new recipe for dinner last night and loved it so much that I had to share it with y'all! This dish would be super fun to make for company. It's not spicy and can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken. Just make sure they aren't allergic to peanuts.

I cooked up a six pound chicken in the crockpot the other day to chop up and portion out into quart-sized freezer bags. As I was brainstorming ideas for what to do with all that chicken, I remembered a salad I had at California Pizza Kitchen last year. It's called Thai Crunch Salad. Have you ever had it? It tastes light and refreshing, but it's surprisingly filling. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I promise there is a ton of lettuce, cabbage and veggies under all those wontons!

I promise there is a ton of lettuce, cabbage and veggies under all those wontons!

The official recipe can be found here, but I found a copycat version with less steps that sounded delicious and similar in flavor. I was in a time crunch and decided to buy an Asian chopped salad mix instead of purchasing the cabbage, veggies and herbs separately. I chopped up some butter lettuce to add into the mix, as well as a handful of edamame and chopped cucumber. You could also put in avocado, chopped bell pepper, chopped raw broccoli, raw brussels sprouts...whatever! 

Once you've figured out your salad mix, put it in a large lidded bowl, add chicken and drizzle a couple tablespoons of homemade dressing on top. (I used the recipe below.) Use less dressing than you think — you can always add more if need, but you don't want to start off with a drenched salad. Put the lid on the bowl and shake, shake, shake! I topped the salad with chopped peanuts and friend wontons. A few sliced almonds got in there, too. (The Asian salad mix came with a bag of fried wontons and sliced almonds.)

 Thai Crunch Chicken Salad dressing** by How Sweet It Is

makes 4 portions / takes 10 minutes to prepare

  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoosn creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon-sized knobs of ginger, grated 
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

In a saucepan, combine chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice. Whisk over high heat until the mixture boils, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes. You'll notice the mixture will thicken up. Remove from heat and place dressing in a jar or bowl in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the salad. 

**If you want, you can use a portion of this dressing as a marinade for your chicken. See the original post for additional details. 

The Asian mix I bought also comes with two packets of sesame ginger salad. I might try adding a spoonful of peanut butter and some lime juice to the pre-made dressing and seeing if the flavor is similar to the homemade dressing. 

It's almost the weekend, friends! Tomorrow night Andy is taking me out for a belated Valentine's dinner (we're going here) and we'll have an episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson to watch when we get home. Are you watching it?

If you live around Frederick, don't forget it's barn sale weekend! Sweet Clover, Chartreuse & Co and Buckeystown Design Co-op will be open. I'll be scouting out items for clients and maaaaybe coming home with something for myself. (Me with my Christmas money.)

Check back next week for Lucy's final mood board and another free printable!