I REALLY love a big salad for dinner.
Like as much as I LOVE a sandwich or burger and all the carbs… if I’m on my own for dinner for any reason or only feeding my youngest two and decide to pull out the high class food for them (hot dogs), I’ll ALWAYS make a huge salad for myself. It’s the easiest way to hit whatever macros I need- easy to limit if I’m running low, easy to add if I’m not. And easy to still get massive volume if I need it.
Ha- “if”…. I always need it.
I really love added grains in my salad, and if my carbs have room for it, I’ll for sure add brown rice, farro, or quinoa to this salad… rice noodles or plain old linguine would be delicious too. But when I’m low on carbs and still want a little variety… cauliflower rice! It goes perfectly with all of the chopped veggies and herbs and just adds more fun small bits. I love small bits in a salad. I might skip the greens all together next time and do lots of cauliflower for like an Asian Tabouleh. Can that be a thing? I think it can be a thing.
But you can never go wrong with a huge bed of chopped greens underneath. You can eat for like 30 minutes straight! And yet feel like a million bucks. WIN.
The magic to me here is PLENTY of fresh chopped herbs. And the chicken! I talked about this in my instagram stories but I’m feeling pretty excited about my new revelation. I’ve always hated reheated chicken… but have finally accepted the fact that I was wrong! Shred some already grilled leftover tenderloins (what I did here) or some rotisserie chicken breast from the store, and heat it quick and hot with some added seasoning in a pan… it’s perfect! Just a little crispy. Nice and salty and seriously no hint of that microwaved poultry flavor. Magic. Pretty sure I’m late to this (too stubborn), but if you’re even later or more stubborn than me…. YOU’RE WELCOME. Always nice to have another easy and YUMMY protein option.
If you have a homemade asian dressing you love- USE IT! Or adding PB2 to a simple asian vinaigrette is a yummy way to make your own light peanut dressing. But I’m so obsessed with the Trader Joes Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette which is totally macro friendly on it’s own… but the Newmans Own, Sesame Ginger is lower in fat and also super yummy… so I like to blend the two for ALL the flavor but even better macros. And Ross would say I like to overcomplicate things but whatever.
Cauliflower-Rice Asian Chopped Salad
Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!
For the cilantro lime cauliflower:
- 150 g riced cauliflower fresh or frozen
- 1 cube garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- squeeze of lime
- big pinch of chopped fresh cilantro
For the salad
- 2-3 big handfuls of mixed greens chopped 75 g
- 2 green onions chopped
- Chopped cucumber 80 g
- Chopped bell pepper 40 g
About ¼ each cup chopped:
- Chopped mango 15 g
- 1/4 of an avocado 25 g
- 100 g Grilled chicken* (like this basic one or this sweet chili cilantro one would be perfect!) torn into pieces and heated in a pan for a couple of minutes on high heat with a sprinkle of kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some cooking spray. (I promise it doesn’t taste like reheated poultry! Just don’t over-do it.)
- 1 tbs Trader Joes Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
- 2 tbs Newmans Own Sesame Ginger
- A big squeeze of fresh lime on top.
For the Cauliflower
- Heat a skillet over medium with a little cooking spray, throw in your riced cauliflower (I prefer frozen just because I can always have it on hand.) Sprinkle with kosher salt and let cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once it’s soft and maybe a little browned, add a clove (or frozen cube) of garlic and cook for just another minute or two.
- Turn off heat and throw in a big pinch of cilantro (about ¼ cup) and a squeeze of lime.
For the Salad
- Chop greens as fine as you like (I love this salad chopped small!)
- Top with cauliflower rice, green onion, cucumber, bell pepper, fresh herbs (including additional cilantro), mango, avocado, and shredded, seasoned and heated chicken.
- Drizzle with your favorite asian dressings… *I LOVE this Trader Joes Peanut one and this Newmans Own Sesame Ginger— especially at just 1.5 fat per serving.
- Toss and squeeze with additional fresh squeezed lime and some sesame seeds if you want!
- *I used my basic grilled chicken but use any chicken you like! Rotisserie works great heated in a pan like this as well.
- I use two dressings just because I love the TJ one but the Newmans Own is lower in fat and I STILL love it… so I like to get both flavors and stretch the fat a little farther.
- Grains and nuts are both delicious additions! Rice or farro… and peanuts, toasted cashews, or almonds… Add some for me will you?