This delicious and healthy Chinese Chicken Salad is a crunchy salad dream with cabbage, carrots, cilantro, mandarin oranges and a creamy date-sweetened peanut chili dressing. Perfect for an easy lunch, dinner, or recipe to meal prep. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free.
The creamy dressing is made from a combination of peanut butter, date syrup, coconut aminos, vinegar, and fresh spices. It has a slightly sweet, tangy flavor and also packs a little bit of heat from the chili flakes. The creaminess of the dressing pulls everything together just perfectly. You may be thinking a salad is not going to fill me up. But we've got some tips and tricks to making a satisfying and fulfilling salad.
Keys to making a fulfilling salad
- Use hefty darker greens like spinach, arugula, or kale as your base. Not only do these have a heartier texture, but contain antioxidants, fiber and iron!
- Add lean flavorful protein. This is essential to creating a fulfilling meal. Chicken, fish, lentils, marinated tofu, quinoa, or chickpeas are great options. Even adding in a mix like chicken and quinoa or beans for a little extra 🐔
- Healthy fats are a must! Avocados, nuts, or seeds add great flavor and help with the absorption of all those great fat-soluble vitamins in the salad.
- Create different textures. Add in crunchy vegetables/fruits like carrots, bell peppers, pomegranate seeds, apples, etc to contrast with chewy toppings like citrus fruits, edamame, avocado, medjool dates etc. Finally topping with salty nuts or seeds for a well textured salad. We also love adding roasted veggies for a warm salad!
- Drizzle with a fresh dressing. It's no secret that most store-bought dressings are full of sugar, additives, and preservatives so when you can, make your own dressing with minimal ingredients, but lots of flavor.
How to store
Whether you are meal prepping or have leftovers this hearty salad keeps crisp and crunchy in the fridge for a few days. You can mix in everything just skip the dressing until you are ready to eat because nobody likes a soggy salad😅 Store the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge and the dressing in a separate container.
Ingredients for the dressing:
- Joolies Date Syrup
- The only natural sweetener needed to balance out the other salty + bitter ingredients. Plus you still maintain all the nutrient and health benefits of a medjool date in the syrup form.
- Peanut Butter
- This is the base of the dressing and makes it nice and creamy. We recommend using a peanut butter with no added oils or sugars. Some of our favorites are Wild Friends and Santa Cruz Organic! If you are paleo or Whole30 feel free to swap almond or cashew butter.
- Coconut Aminos
- The perfect soy sauce replacement, taking out the harmful chemicals and excessive sodium. We love the organic coconut aminos from Dr. Bragg!
- Rice Vinegar
- If you're paleo or Whole30, feel free to substitute with apple cider vinegar.
- Sesame Oil
- This one is a game changer when cooking asian cuisines. It adds a great flavor plus it also has a lot of proven benefits. But don't fret if you don't have this on hand, you can substitute with olive or avocado oil.
- Lime Juice
- Fresh is best! You'll get more flavor and zest from a freshly squeezed lime.
- Ground ginger for, garlic, red chili flakes or cayenne pepper for a little kick!
- Joolies Date Syrup
Ingredients for the salad:
- Coleslaw mix
- You can definitely shred your own cabbage, but if you're feeling a little lazy, you can buy it pre-shredded and washed 💦
- Spring Mix
- We can't forget the greens! Feel free to use whatever you have on hand for this one.
- Mandarin Oranges
- The citrus is a great addition to all the other flavors we've got going on. Make sure your mandarin oranges are packed in 100% fruit juice!
- Fresh carrots have a ton of health benefits, including aiding in eye health, reducing risk of certain cancers, and promoting a healthy heart! Plus, they add a solid crunch for added enjoyment and flavor 👏
- Fresh Cilantro
- Even though cilantro is such a common herb, it has some really special benefits! It can reduce anxiety, reduce oxidative stress, and rids the body of heavy metals. Yet, if you're one of those people where cilantro tastes like soap, then omit it!
- Chicken Breasts
- Feel free to swap out the chicken for a different protein or omit to make it completely vegan!
- Coleslaw mix
If you make this tasty salad, be sure to tag us on Instagram @jooliesdates and use the hashtag #jooliesdates so we can see all your date-able date recipe recreations! And you can always comment below!