The Thai Chicken Salad from Panera Bread Company is one of my favorite salads. It is fantastic. It has everything I look for in a great meal. Crunchy, a little heat, a little sweet, sour, tangy and lots of savory. The dressing, the peanut drizzle… nom, nom. I would say, I love this salad, so much so that I endeavored to make it at home. Low and behold, it wasn’t that hard and mine might, just might, even be better.
After a quick Google search, I came across a recipe that I based mine on. So hat tip to Cheerios & Lattes for their Panera’s Thai Chopped Chicken Salad post.
One thing I had to add was spicy pickled carrots. I know, I just know the carrots in Panera’s salad have a bunch of heat and sour. Another thing I tweaked was using jarred roasted red peppers, it was easier and added a little bit more sour. I also changed the vinaigrette to add more heat and the peanut sauce drizzle I used chocolate almond butter. Yep, you heard that correct, chocolate almond butter instead of peanut butter. I’m telling you, don’t knock it.
For my palette, this was perfect. It had all that I loved from Panera’s version but more of what I like. More heat, more sour. Even my happy mistakes like the chocolate almond butter and sambal oelek turned out fantastic. I can’t recommend this salad enough. Make it your own and let me know how you tweaked it in the comments.
Ingredients for Spicy Pickled Carrot
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, cut in quarters
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
Ingredients for Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sambal oelek
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for Peanut Drizzle Sauce
- 1/2 cup chocolate almond butter (or creamy peanut butter)
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for Salad
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large head bibb lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup, edamame, thawed
- 3 roasted red pepper, drained and sliced in thin strips
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 cup fried rice noodles (the crunchy kind in the can
- Canola oil
- 3 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper
Directions for Spicy Pickled Carrots
This can be done ahead of time.
- Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat with rice wine vinegar, water, salt, carrots and jalapeno.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then remove from the heat.
- Allow to cool and place the mixture into a sealable jar (Mason Jar). Top off with water if need be and place in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- First make the vinaigrette. Add the rice wine vinegar, sambal oelek, sesame oil, powdered garlic in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Next the peanut drizzle sauce. Add the chocolate almond butter (or regular peanut butter), hoisin, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, water in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the canola oil and continue whisking. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet or grill pan to just past medium. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper (we’ve already added a lot of sodium). Cook the chicken to desired doneness and allow to rest. Once cooled, slice in strips or chunks.
- Start your ovens broiler. Toss the thawed edamame lightly with canola and place on a sheet pan. Broil until slightly charred. Set aside.
- To plate, add the chopped bibb lettuce to a large plate. Distribute the carrots, edamame and roasted red peppers evenly. Lightly dress with the viniagrette. Add the fried rice noodles. Top with the chicken, drizzle with the peanut sauce and garnish with the chopped peanuts, cilantro and green onions.
Walking into the grocery, I had no ideas…until I noticed pork tenderloin on sale. After a long weekend we really just wanted something light and refreshing. This coconut jasmine rice is very light and the edamame adds a bit of crunch. This is an easy, light meal.
HA, too funny! After writing this entire post, I discovered this on my own blog: Ginger-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Edamame Rice. Nearly the same exact meal just done a little differently. Too funny. Oh well, there you have it…AGAIN.
- 1-2 lean pork tenderloin (mine came in a two pack)
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Dale’s marinade
- Fish sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- 1 ½ inches ginger, chopped in chunks (I left the skin on)
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- Cilantro, whole with stems and some for garnish
- Rice wine vinegar
- Jasmine rice, cleaned several times
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Chicken or beef stock, low sodium
- Edamame, thawed
- Peanuts, chopped for garnish
- First start the marinade. Combine soy sauce, Dale’s, fish sauce, hoisin and Siracha in bowl and whisk to combine. I really don’t have measurements; just add to your taste. Add the ginger and garlic. Place the tenderloins in a large zip top bag and add the marinade. I would let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour adjusting it occasionally.
- 30 minutes prior to cooking, set the pork out to come to room temperature. Pre heat oven to 450 F. Spray oven safe roasting dish with non-stick spray. Scrap any bits of ginger, garlic or cilantro off of the pork and place in the dish. Reserve the marinade. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue cooking until desired temperature is reached (approx. 15-20 minutes). I basted the meat ever little bit. Let rest about 10 minutes prior to slicing.
- Place the marinade into a small sauce pot along with some low sodium beef or chicken stock, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Reduce, strain, and place back in the pot, keep warm. This sauce becomes really salt and the pork doesn’t really needed it but I like it.
- Thaw edamame and set aside.
- In a pot, combine coconut milk, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil slowly adding the washed rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, add edamame and toss to combine.
- Garnish the pork with a drizzle of the sauce, cilantro and some peanuts.
Who doesn’t love pizza? I eat it just about twice a week (make it one night and leftovers another). Infinite possibilities exist with pizza and I enjoy trying to sample all of them. I bet I haven’t ordered pizza delivery in eight years. With the availability of quality ingredients and the fact that most grocery stores carry fresh pizza dough, it’s cheaper, faster and better to make my own.
On this day I was craving heat and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my wife is now craving heat as well. Since I was craving Asian, I went with Thai Barbecue Chicken Pizza. I love, love, loved it. The heat from the sriracha, the sweet from the bbq sauce and peanut butter, the crunch/sour/heat of the carrots and read onions, the crunch and salt of the peanuts, the fresh cilantro and green onions, the…well everything. This is a keeper.
I’m not sure if they have it still on the menu but I used to get a Thai barbeque chicken pizza at the sandwich shop Schlotzsky’s. I think I had one at California Pizza Kitchens as well. Anyway, those were the original inspirations, my pizza was better than either of those.
- Peanut butter
- Dale’s steak seasoning (or regular soy sauce)
- Barbeque sauce (I used Jack Daniels brand)
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Granulated garlic
- Powdered ginger
- Pizza dough (I used store bought multigrain)
- 1 store bought rotisserie chicken, chopped in ½ inch pieces
- Spicy pickled carrots and red onions (click for recipe)
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped and to garnish
- 4 green onions, sliced on the bias
- 1 handful chopped cashews
- Shredded cheese (I used several different kinds)
- Place pizza stone in the middle rack and pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F. If you don’t have a pizza stone get one.
- First, cut the pizza dough in half. Set the cut side of each half down and push the edges in to form a ball. Flour your board well, and stretch. I use every method known to get the dough as thin as possible, including a rolling pin.
- Once you have the first half as thin as you like it, put it on a sheet pan and bake in the pre-heating oven until slightly browned. Remove and set aside. Repeat this for the other piece of dough. BTW, I usually make a different pizza with the other dough, but that’s another post.
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisky and reduce until desired consistency, it won’t take long. Sorry for the lack of measurements but I encourage you to combine this to your tastes. If you want more heat, add more sriracha. Want more sweet, add more bar-b-que sauce or honey.
- Add chicken to half the sauce and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Spread some of the remaining sauce over the pre baked crust.
- Sprinkle a light layer of your favorite shredded cheese (I used a combination of mozzarella, seven cheese Italian and fontina).
- Next, add a layer of carrots and onions, a layer of chicken. Sprinkle cilantro, green onions and peanuts. Finish with more shredded cheese.
- Cut oven temperature down to 400 degrees F and place the pizza on the pizza stone. Cook until cheese is melted and the crust is to your liking (I’ll like my crunchy).
- Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onions. Enjoy.