Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing
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With a ginger, sesame, and lime dressing, this colorful salad is packed with flavor! Enjoy it for an easy dinner or lunch.
As I type this, it’s Thursday night, and can I just say how glad I am that tomorrow’s Friday? As you read this, it will be Friday, so happy almost weekend to you! I don’t know about you, but I am t.i.r.e.d. by the end of the week. My Friday night routine these days consists of (1) an easy dinner, (2) bathe the kids, read stories, and put them to bed, and (3) relax on the couch with the latest episode of Parenthood and a bowl of ice cream. (If I wasn’t pregnant, there would be wine. Ice cream works for now, though!) Then I’m off to bed by about 9:30, which sounds early but is actually later than I make myself head up to bed on weeknights.
I made this Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing earlier this week, and that was a very good move. It’s super easy to whip up, and makes quite a few servings. We were able to eat it for dinner one night and then lunch for the following two days. Having a healthy lunch prepared ahead of time is the best, isn’t it?
Lately, I’ve gotten into a new cooking routine on Mondays and Tuesdays, which are my days off from teaching. I’ve been preparing dinner in the early afternoon, while William naps, and then it’s all ready to go when we get hungry in the evenings. I started doing this mainly because it allows me to take natural light photographs of new recipes, which just isn’t possible at dinnertime these days. It’s also much less stressful to cook when one kid is napping, than to try to keep the peace between two of them later on when everyone is getting hungry (i.e., cranky). While I work in the kitchen, Julia either helps me or does her quiet time activities.
This Chicken and Rice Salad was a great recipe to prepare earlier in the day, because it can be enjoyed cold, straight from the refrigerator. It’s made with brown rice, which I prepared using my favorite, oh so easy recipe. Between the brown rice, veggies, and protein-rich chicken and peanuts, this salad is a filling, healthy dinner or lunch.
- 1 ½ cups brown rice
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
- 3 ½ tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ½ tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ⅛ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Cook brown rice according to package directions, or follow my recipe for Perfect Brown Rice. Transfer rice to a large bowl and let cool.
- Add chicken, bell pepper, carrot, green onions, and cilantro to bowl with rice. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and stir to evenly distribute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve salad at room temperature or chilled, topped with peanuts.
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