Healthy Thai Salad with grilled chicken and spicy thai peanut dressing! This Panera classic just got a homemade upgrade. Gluten-free friendly.
Guys we leave for Hawaii in three days! I kind of can’t believe. Especially because just this past weekend I was in Ontario visiting my Canadian bestie. Meaning I haven’t really packed yet. EEEK. I plan on taking a little time off early this week to pack and get organized. I got really focused last week to keep up with content for you guys while we’re gone. I won’t be on my regular schedule but I’ll still be sharing some new stuff here and there.
Being a one-woman show and trying to plan a vacation is tough! I of course want to keep up with the blog, seeing that it is my business… But at the same time I feel I should take a break and actually vacation. I am sure you guys won’t mind either way… it’s just me coming to terms with the break. Also it’s that much harder to get back into a schedule and routine when I don’t have some things planned out ahead of time. I may work a little bit while we’re in Hawaii but nothing too rigid.
Note I am also aware just how fortunate we are to take this vacation. I didn’t grow up vacationing all over the world or even the continental US. Our family vacations were places we could drive – because one didn’t typically take 4-6 children on planes when I was growing up. Not only that but honestly my parents couldn’t afford that shit. So our two big vacations a year were our annual summer camping trip in Canada, and the spring break Florida vacation visiting my grandpa.
Even as a young adult vacationing to places overseas seemed so far out of reach. But now that we’re approaching the departure date I am more grateful than ever, and truly appreciate how fortunate we are to travel to places such as the Hawaii islands. Drew and I never took a honeymoon or have yet to take a vacation together (just the two of us) since we got married (maybe even ever?) and I am really looking forward to adventuring together for the first time.
Anyways it now seems a bit weird to be talking about Hawaii and sharing this Thai salad with you guys but just let it happen.
The thing is I ordered/picked up Panera for dinner the other week and got my usual: Thai Chicken Salad. I freaking love that salad but then when I got home to eat said salad it didn’t taste as fresh as I had hoped. And I thought I really ought to just make a homemade version of this. Read: I need to add avocado to all of my salads and this Thai salad is no exception.
Loaded Thai Salad with Grilled Chicken
what you need
- romaine lettuce
- red bell pepper
- red cabbage
- crunchy wontons
- cashew pieces
- grilled chicken
- homemade Thai peanut dressing (recipe included!)
So this salad is basically just like your Panera favorite but with a few additions like the red cabbage and avocado.
It’s a great salad to prep ahead of time and have for lunch throughout the week.
Plus the dressing is to-die-for. I used peanut butter for a more traditional Thai peanut dressing but you could easily sub cashew butter, almond butter or even sunbutter. All would be delicious.
Highly recommend giving this a try!
for the salad:
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast
- 1/2 TBS avocado oil, for cooking chicken
- salt & pepper for chicken
- 8 cups chopped romaine
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage, diced
- 2 orange carrots, shredded (I used vegetable peeler)
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- wonton toppers (optional)
Thai peanut dressing:
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 3 TBS coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari)
- 2 TBS honey (agave or maple syrup also works)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (can sub apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste (or 1 tsp freshly grated ginger)
- juice of 1 lime (optional but adds nice flavor)
- 2 TBS non-dairy milk or water (I used cashew)
- Prepare the chicken: Heat cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Trim any extra fat off chicken breast. Season chicken with salt & pepper; cook on one side for 3-4 minutes before flipping to other side and cooking through. Cook until middle is no longer pink or internal temperature is 165ºF. Place on cutting board and slice chicken.
- Prepare the salad: In large bowl add all ingredients for salad, except avocado and wontons. Toss with tongs to mix salad together well.
- Make the dressing: add all ingredients into small blender or food processor. Process until smooth – add milk or water 1 TBS at a time if thinner consistency is desired.
- Portion out salad for desired servings and sliced avocado and wontons if using. Top with grilled chicken and drizzle with Thai peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Store leftover dressing in covered container in fridge up to 1 week.
This salad is great for meal prep! Portion out salad into individual containers for easy packed lunch or dinner salad.
VEGETARIAN SUB: Feel free to sub chicken for tempeh or organic tofu.
SOME OF THE PRODUCTS I USED IN TODAY’S RECIPE
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