Chinese Chicken Salad (Paleo, Fruit-Sweetened, Whole30)

 

This month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free  is perfect for summer.  With digits well into the 100’s here, I’m all for keeping my oven time to a minimum, so having an extra push to play with some of my favorite salad recipes was something I gladly jumped into!

This Chinese Chicken Salad is an updated version of a classic cabbage salad my mom used to make when I was younger.  You may be familiar with the Top Ramen Chicken Salad? Loaded with fried noodles, salt and not-so-good for you ingredients, looking back at this ‘healthy’ meal makes me cringe a little.

That being said, I always enjoyed this salad. In fact, this was one of my pregnant cravings. Every.single.time.

V8, beef jerky and Top Ramen Chinese Chicken salad.  My other cravings varied, but I guarantee you if I was pregnant, I would be wanting one or all of the above at any time nearly every.single.day.

While I am not pregnant, when I received two beautiful heads of Napa Cabbage in a recent order from Bountiful Baskets, I knew I wanted to finally nail down a more ‘me’ friendly version of this salad.

Having recently finished my first Whole30, I am a little obsessed with making anything and everything without sweeteners of any sort.

As you know, I have been using non-refined sugars for more than a year now; but this is different.

While the occasional fruit-juice sweetened item is allowed, part of the Whole30 program includes eliminating all sweeteners, including stevia. Effectively, the Whole30 program is designed to reset your body, your mind, and your taste buds.

The purpose of eliminating all sweeteners goes beyond a mere breaking the sugar cycle ideal, it ensures you taste your food for what it is, tasting your food for what it should be.

And you know what? Beyond being the most difficult part of the program for me (I even found stevia as an included ingredient on my favorite herbal tea, seriously!?) eliminating all sweeteners taught me something…

I don’t need to sweeten my food nearly as often as I thought I did, and when a little sweetness is required, a little fruit juice goes a long way.

So while I may use a bit of honey, maple syrup, palm sugar or stevia when I am not on the Whole30 program, expect to see many, many more recipes without any of the above.

And because of how I felt on the end of my first Whole30, the fact that I was running easier and faster, the fact that my skin was clearer than it has been (probably ever), the fact that I dropped quite a bit of weight (although I don’t know exactly how much because we don’t own a scale! But who cares? My clothes fit better and that matters more in the scheme of things); because of all of this expect to see many more Whole30 type recipes from here on out.

Want to learn more about the Whole30? If you read my review of Well Fed, you may have noted the mention of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig from Whole9.  Whole30 is their brainchild and ultimately what pushed Melissa Joulwan into her own health-centric lifestyle.

The epitome of the paleo lifestyle, a great guideline and a fantastic way to live, the Whole30 program is something everyone can do and something I really feel everyone should do to rest our minds, our bodies and our lives.

In case you were wondering, despite being a paleo-centric lifestyle, Melissa and Dallas have made alternative menu suggestions for followers who are vegan, vegetarian and those suffer from any other food related allergies or autoimmune syndromes.

So yes, you too can do this! ;) It’s worth it, I promise.

Learn more about the Whole30 and buy the Success Guide here; or even better, invest in Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s new book: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways.  My copy should be here sometime today, after which I will begin my second Whole30 and with this, look forward to even more progress and continued success.

Without further adieu, here is my entry into this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free

 

Chinese Chicken Salad (Paleo, Fruit-Sweetened, Whole30)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 head Napa Cabbage, chopped
  • 5 stalks Celery, sliced
  • 3 Spring Onions, whites and greens, sliced
  • 8 oz Snow Peas
  • 1 c Raw Cashew Pieces
  • Dressing:
  • ¼ c Coconut Aminos
  • ¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ c Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Tbs Dried Chives
  • 1 Tbs Dried Onions
  • 1 Tbs Dried Parsley Flakes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400f. On parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle chicken breasts with garlic, salt and pepper. Bake until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 170f. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Prepare dressing by combining coconut aminos, extra virgin olive oil, pineapple juice, chives, onions, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder in a medium Mason jar or shaker mug. Shake until well combined and set aside.
  3. Prepare salad by mixing together cabbage, celery, spring onions, snow peas and cashews. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss chicken and dressing in with salad base and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  4. Make up to 2 days before serving, flavor is absorbed without salad becoming soggy (yay!).
  5. Serves 8.
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This recipe is also being shared with: Allergy Free Wednesdays, The GFE-Virtual Support Group

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Comments

  1. Yum Yum Yum! That dressing sings to me!

  2. Sounds great! What are coconut aminos?

    • Tessa,

      What a great question! I fell in love with Coconut Aminos and must have forgotten that this product is still not widely known. Similar to soy sauce in flavor, Coconut Aminos are made from the sap of the coconut tree. Free of gluten, soy, sugar, dairy, etc, Coconut Aminos are a great option for anyone who is looking for the flavor of soy sauce without all of the ‘stuff’ that comes with it. You can purchase Coconut Aminos here or at many health food stores.

      I will also hyper-link the ingredient in the recipe so it makes it easier to find.

      Thank you for the reminder!
      xoxo

  3. Sunny, I love this recipe! And you’ve reminded me that I forgot about Go Ahead Honey … not sure if I can get my act together to participate, but at least I’ll have lots of salad recipes from others to enjoy. ;-)

    xo,
    Shirley

    p.s. I love reading about your success on your new eating plan! Congrats, girl! :-)

    • :) Thank you, Shirley! I took my first-ever ‘before’ (well, actually mid-progression because I never took before pictures before…) pictures. I look forward to having them posted along with my “I’m a lot further than I was back then” pictures.

      Just saw your catch-up post and am glad to know that I am not the only one who goes through all of that. ;)

      I do hope you’ll enjoy this salad. xoxo

  4. this look great Sunni, I crave salads come warmer weather! Pinned!

  5. Congratulations on your foodbuzz top 9, today!

  6. This is the perfect salad for hot summer nights! I love the idea of adding cashews as a stand in for peanuts which is what you’d normally see here but aren’t Paleo-friendly.

  7. that sounds so delicious! what a flavor combination!!

  8. I saw your guest post over at the Paleo Parents. It was great and thought I’d check out your site. LOVE this recipe and can’t wait to try it! So glad you had a good experience with the Whole 30. I’m doing one now, too, and it’s amazing how much better I feel already — even though I was following a Paleo diet already!

  9. this look so delicious! I love Napa cabbage and coconut aminos, but I never thought to marry them with chicken and feast away. Oh now I am soooo hungry!

  10. Looks delicious! x x x

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  1. [...] from And Love It Too shared with us her Whole30 approved Chinese Chicken Salad. It was so nice to read this post from Sunny as I didn’t realize she wasn’t just [...]

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