It’s getting really hot and just about the season for salads and greens. My farm share is staring this week and I can’t wait to pick up pounds of organic and locally grown vegetables for cheap! Farm shares are a great program and an economical way to get your vegetables and explore new ones. My farm share provides copious amounts of greens each week, so I’m inclined to come up with new salad recipes. And an easy one!
Living the Paleo life means those greens are paired with a well seasoned meat. I recently came across five spice seasoning. I wasn’t too keen on spice blends, since I like to adjust a spice ratio to my personal tastes, but five spice is one of the few blends I’ll keep in my pantry. It’s made of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, and Schezwan pepper. The combination is aromatic and powerful so I paired it with chicken.
I marinated the chicken with plum puree, sesame oil, coconut aminos/soy sauce, green onions, and a little bit of honey. After marinating for a few hours or overnight, the chicken is simply grilled. Chicken doesn’t take too long to grill on a cast iron pan, maybe about 3-4 minutes each side. I also used a parchment tent to keep the moisture in.
This dish includes new salad dressing recipes too. Salad dressings are simple to make with just a few kitchen staples such as nut butters, extra virgin olive oil, herbs, natural sweeteners, citrus juice, and spices. This dressing is a creamy blend of cashew butter, chile paste or sambal, and a little honey. I really love making salad dressings with cashew butter. Cashews are one of my favorite good fats because they are rich in monounsaturated fat and contain a smaller amount of polyunsaturated fat per serving compared to almonds (Ref). I keep a stock of Artisana brand in my pantry because it’s pure organic raw cashew (some are mixed with sunflower butter).
Other ingredients for this salad include bamboo shoots and shiitake mushrooms. Overall, the dish is a lovely balance of savory and spice from the five spice and chiles, sweetness and tang from the plums and honey, and a little bitterness from the bamboo and mushrooms.
And doesn’t the assortment of colors just make a beautiful salad?
- 1 lb Chicken Breast
- 1 Tablespoons Chinese Five Spice Seasoning
- 2-3 Plums
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of Green Onion
- 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- 2 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil
- Parchment Paper folded into a tent
- 5-6 cups of Spinach Salad Greens mix
- 1 small can of Bamboo Shoots
- ½ cup of Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons of Cashew Butter
- 2 teaspoons of Sambal (Chile Paste)
- 1 teaspoon of Honey
- up to 1 Tablespoon of Water
- Rub the chicken with the seasoning and onion. Cutting slits on the chicken will help it marinate faster. Place chicken in a non-reactive shallow bowl.
- Puree 2-3 plums. Mix in honey, sesame oil, and coconut aminos (or soy sauce) with the puree.
- Pour the puree mixture of the chicken.
- Evenly coat the chicken with the puree mixture and sprinkle with chopped green onions.
- Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.
- Heat the grill pan to medium. Add the cooking oil.
- Place the chicken breasts on the grill pan without overcrowding.
- Cover the grill pan with the parchment paper tent. This will help keep in heat and moisture.
- Cook for 4 minutes.
- Turn chickens over and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes while covered with the parchment paper.
- When done, remove from the grill pan to a plate and allow the meat to rest while covered with the paper.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the cashew butter, sambal, and honey. Add water to achieve desired consistency.
- Chop the rest of the plums, bamboo, and mushrooms and combine with the salad leaves.
- Top with the chicken and drizzle the dressing.