Friday, August 1, 2014

3KC Salad with Simple Teriyaki Chicken

Kale, Cabbage, and Carrots dressed with an Asian Vinaigrette
and served with Simple Teriyaki Chicken

This salad redefines recipe evolution. It started out as my sister's recipe for ramen noodle cabbage salad – the kind you dress with oil, vinegar, sugar and the ramen seasoning packet. I loved that dressing, but I don't like ramen noodles in my salad. After accumulating a dozen or so packages of ramen noodles without seasoning packets, I decided that I needed to figure out make this dressing without the ramen seasoning packet.

After a few trials, I inked this recipe into my recipe book. It's really just rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, sugar/stevia, onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper. I use a combination of sugar and stevia, but either can be used. Sometimes I use Braggs Liquid Aminos in combination with the soy sauce, but a little less since liquid aminos are saltier than the reduced sodium soy sauce I use. I've also made the dressing with freshly grated ginger, which was wonderful, but more work.

I was perfectly happy with my new cabbage salad just the way it was until I watched this thought-provoking TEDx Talk. The speaker talked a lot about kale. I knew kale was a superfood. (My college nutrition professor ingrained the holiness of cruciferous vegetables into us.) But I had never tried kale. The TED Talk prompted me to find a way to include kale in my life. I figured it would pair well with the cabbage and dressing, so I added it to this salad recipe. I started adding carrots, too. Why not knock three colors off my eat-the-rainbow list?

The resulting kale-cabbage-carrot salad, which got nicknamed 3KC Salad after one of the vaccines we give to the cows, was amazing. The only problem was that the recipe I put together makes a very large batch and I was the only one in our house who ate it. (Daphne eats it with me now.) So after a week of salad for lunch every day, my love for this salad would start to wane a little.

Then, one day while I was looking to add some protein to my lunch, I threw some oven roasted almonds on top. The salad went from fantastic to out-of-this-world. Even after a week in the fridge, this salad has great texture, but the crunch from the almonds takes it to another level.

The final step in the evolution of this recipe happened after I heard that Land O'Lakes was coming out with a teriyaki version of their Sauté Express. I've been cooking with several of the Sauté Express flavors for awhile now, so I was thrilled to see teriyaki added to the lineup. I used to make my own teriyaki sauce, because I didn't like the taste of store-bought sauces. But the flavor of the teriyaki Sauté Express won me over instantly.

I had a pail of 3KC Salad in the fridge when I first made teriyaki chicken with the Sauté Express. I tried the salad and chicken together, sprinkled with almonds, sesame seeds and nori chips. I don't think I can adequately describe how amazing this combination of flavors and textures is. Just know that it's really, really good.

3KC Salad with Simple Teriyaki Chicken

Serves: 8 (one serving being about 2 cups of salad with 4 ounces of chicken)


For the salad

1 bunch kale (about ½ pound or 3-4 large leaves)
1 pound carrots
1 pound shredded cabbage

For the vinaigrette

1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 packets of stevia*
2 tablespoons sugar*
6 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup rice vinegar

 *To use just sugar and no stevia, increase sugar to 6 tablespoons.

For the chicken

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 cup corn starch
4 squares teriyaki flavored Sauté Express


For the salad

Tear kale into small pieces, discarding ribs OR discard ribs and shred with sharp knife (check out this pictorial on shredding kale from The Pioneer Woman). Place kale in bottom of 4-5 quart container – one that has a tight fitting lid (I use an ice cream pail). Peel carrots and shred in food processor. Place shredded carrots on top of kale. Place shredded cabbage on top of carrots. If necessary, press vegetables down to fit in container.

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in glass jar. Screw lid on tight. Shake vigorously until blended.

Pour vinaigrette over salad. Put lid on container and shake to coat salad with dressing. Refrigerate salad overnight, shaking again after a couple hours, to allow vegetables to marinate. Salad volume will reduce. Toss salad with forks after marinating to combine vegetables.

Top salad with teriyaki chicken, oven roasted almonds, sesame seeds, and/or nori chips.

For the chicken

Cut chicken pieces in half and flatten to uniform thickness. Dredge chicken pieces in corn starch.

Melt 2 Sauté Express squares in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the sauté starter is bubbly, add half of the chicken pieces. Cook until chicken is done in the center, turning pieces at least once. Remove cooked chicken from pan. Melt remaining 2 squares of sauté starter and cook remaining chicken.

Slice chicken into strips.

Note: The salad will keep in a covered container in the fridge for at least two weeks.

I am a Land O'Lakes Cooperative member-owner. I did not receive compensation from Land O'Lakes for writing about Sauté Express or from any other company for mentioning any other product. All opinions are my own.


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