Creamy Cashew Chicken Salad

This recipe contains a perfect blend of chicken, stir-fried veggies, and salad greens all coated in a creamy cashew dressing.  It is easy to make ahead and serve cold – making it perfect for lunch or for a summer potluck.  The dressing by itself would be great for dipping coconut-breaded chicken tenders, or as a sauce over grilled asian-spiced pork chops.  And feel free to toss in your own variations on the veggies rather than sticking simply to the carrots and red bell peppers we used.  I know this would go great with the addition of mushrooms, snow peas, or just about anything else you can think of.

Gather Up (for the salad):

  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast, cut across in 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut up across roughly the size of the carrot pieces
  • 1/2 lb baby spinach (or other mixed greens)
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Gather Up (for the dressing):

  • 1/3 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Start out heating a wok over medium-high heat with the sesame oil.  When hot, toss in the chicken and saute until just cooked through.  Transfer to a bowl and keep the wok hot.

Continue with the carrots and bell pepper (and any other veggies you are using) until they are crisp-tender.  Add a little more oil if needed, and stir often while keeping the heat fairly hot.  When done, transfer into the bowl with the chicken.

In the meantime, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small food processor.  Blend until creamy in consistency.

Pour the dressing over the chicken and stir-fried veggies and turn to coat well.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss.  Add in the chicken and veggie mixture (use a spatula to scrape all of the dressing in as well) and continue to toss until everything is coated well.

At this point, you can serve immediately while it is still warm, or cover and refrigerate to save for later.  Either way, be sure that when you get it out to eat, you take enough the first time – because the chances are pretty slim there will be any leftovers for later!


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