An herby, Vietnamese-inspired salad with quinoa and chicken making for a light yet satisfying meal!
Salads have a bad rep because they’re so often just big bowls of lettuce with raw vegetables and a mediocre dressing. I don’t think this is anyone’s preferred meal–certainly not mine! However with the right ingredients, salads are the perfect opportunity to combine tons of flavors and textures that together create a delicious meal!
This salad is anything but basic. It actually doesn’t even use lettuce. Its flavor and nutrient packed and I know you will love it. I’m not going to lie, I am a little obsessed with it. From the fresh herbs to and crunchy cashews to the light, tangy dressing, it is absolutely amazing.
I’m a huge fan of cabbage. It’s crunchy and mild tasting, which works great as a base for this salad because it absorbs all the flavor of the dressing. Shredded carrots and lightly steamed broccoli add more nutrients and flavor and the fresh herbs make this salad so refreshing! The dressing is a simple mix of lime, sesame oil, and tamari that adds the perfect acidity and saltiness.
This salad is a great balance between a lot of vegetables and heartier chicken and quinoa that makes it a really satisfying meal. With most of my meals, I try to incorporate a wide range of macro and micronutrients, which helps keep me energized and fueled. I do this by incorporating a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as lots of different colors.
With poached chicken for protein, quinoa for carbohydrates, and toasted cashews (my favorite part of the salad) and dressing for fats, this salad is sure to leave you feeling satiated.
This salad is perfect to take to school or work because everything can be tossed with the dressing ahead of time, and it won’t get soggy. I mix everything together the night before and bring it with me to school all the time and it’s delicious!
Forget the boring bowls of bland lettuce and get ready for a seriously tasty meal! Remember to comment below or tag me on Instagram if you try this recipe, I can’t wait to hear what you think!
- 2 boneless organic chicken breasts or cutlets
- ⅓ cup dry quinoa
- 2⅔ cups shredded cabbage
- 1½ cups broccoli florets
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- ¼ cup mint, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ⅓ cup cashews
- 4 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- Toast the cashews in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden and crunchy, about 10 minutes, tossing frequently to keep them from burning.
- Make the dressing by mixing together the lime juice, tamari, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken in a saucepan and cover with water. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pot, and let the chicken cook for 10-14 minutes depending on the size of the breast. When the chicken is done, place the breasts on a cutting board and shred with two forks.
- While the chicken is coming to a boil, place the quinoa in a separate saucepan with ⅔ cup water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover and let the quinoa simmer for 12-14 minutes, until the water is fully absorbed. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and place in the fridge or freezer to cool.
- While the quinoa and chicken cook, fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli florets and let them cook for 1½ minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water immediately.
- When the chicken is shredded and the quinoa is cooled, combine all the ingredients in the large bowl with the quinoa and toss with the dressing. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired, and enjoy!
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