And just like that we are back! So…how was the big day? Yummy? Are you still stuffed? Did you manage to pull if off without any major disasters? We had one minor little snafu, aka as a clogged kitchen sink on the day before the holidays just when I was attempting to pull off the majority of the cooking!!! Why do things like that always happen right then, and never say, on a random Tuesday afternoon or anything?! Suffice it to say that Drano and I are now best friends!! LOL!
Other than that, things went remarkably smoothly and it was so great to all be together and gobble up all the seasonal goodies!! Learned a few things too: like even though you think you don’t need any hors d’oeuvres ‘cause there’s so much food coming, you really do, ‘cause you don’t want people waiting around with nothing to nibble on while you coordinate how to make all the food come out of the oven at the same time and even though people say they want veggies, what they really mean is they want carbs!! (notice the full bowls of brussels sprouts and beans that barely got a glance all evening!!). Anyway, thought you might like to have a look at some of the prep and party shots. There’s even some awkward family shots too!
Now before I get to the terrific salad I’m sharing today, I have one more bit of business to get to. Sorry! We did a little site renovation over the weekend while my son was home from med school. What do you think? Do you like the new look? I think it’s a little cleaner and easier to find the recent recipes on the home page. The only other really big change is on the Recipe Index page. Instead of listing dishes individually, which was making the page overloaded with recipes (not to mention that older recipes were getting cut off ‘cause there just wasn’t room) the recipes are now listed by categories, so now you simply click on any category you’re interested in and scroll down to find the recipes. The good news is that you can now see them by photo too, rather than just by title alone. Anyhoo, would love to know your thoughts on the updates!
And now finally onto the food!! My plan for the week is twofold: keep it easy and light, ‘cause boy oh boy, after all that work (and carbs) do we need it!! This Thai-Style Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce Vinaigrette totally fits the bill on both fronts. It’s a snap to make and filled with tons of healthy veggies, like snow peas, carrots, cucumber and red peppers. Plus, it’s about as far away on the flavor spectrum from traditional Thanksgiving-style fare as possible!
You’re going to love it! Particularly the peanut sauce which comes together in like two minutes and is so good that you’re going to want to drink it!!
It’s a great weeknight meal that you can even prep ahead!
And any leftovers would be terrific for lunch the next day!
Healthy and sensible—it’s the only way to go right now, what with the rest of the holidays bearing down upon us and the scary but delicious reality that we are entering into COOKIE SEASON!! More on that in the days ahead!!
Thai-Style Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: Under 30 minutes (plus time for cooking chicken unless you are using leftover or rotisserie)
For the vinaigrette
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
2 tablespoons water
For the salad
4 cups salad greens— any kind (I used baby romaine but now with all romaine scare you should probably stay away from that)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I roasted a couple of bone-in chicken breasts for this but you could use any leftover chicken you have or a rotisserie chicken to make things easier or leave out the chicken entirely for a vegetarian meal)
Generous cup of chopped snow pea
1 large cucumber, peeled, and cut into cubes
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds (or any nuts you prefer)
To make the dressing: Place all the ingredients into a mason jar or other airtight container and shake well to mix. If the mixture seems too thick to pour, add a bit more water. You could definitely make this ahead of time and store in the fridge for several days.
To make the salad: Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Drizzle on some of the dressing and toss well. Serve immediately, with more dressing on the side. If you want to make the salad ahead of time, I would wait until just before serving to toss with the dressing so it doesn’t get soggy!
Note: Recipe adapted from At Home with Natalie by Natalie Morales. I tinkered a lot with this—feel free to use whatever veggies you like or have on hand.