This is not where I expected to find myself at this point in my life, on a free Saturday afternoon; dragging my family around to grocery store after grocery store, singling out the ones that sell a particular brand of halal meat, then standing in different line ups to purchase said meat. I do not even need to eat halal meat. However, I am the proud owner of 100 coupons for $5.00 off halal meat, to be used one per person by June 30, 2016.
I, along with 9 other lucky recipients, received this as a secondary prize in a recent Canadian home cooking competition. The grand prize was a $10,000.00 kitchen make-over. Yep. Really.
Now, that isn’t to say this is a typical prize and that I haven’t won a lot of pretty sweet prizes over the last 4 ish years since I started ‘contesting’. In fact, I have won cash, expensive cookware, aprons, spatulas, blankets, small appliances (Professional Kitchen Aid Mixer and Wolfgang Puck pressure oven, rice cooker etc.), a digital SLR camera, grocery store gift cards, trips, my original recipes published in a Home and Garden cookbook and in several print and online publications, as well as a couple of TV appearances. But the coupons definitely win as the most bizarre prize.
Chicken is expensive!
Well, I had to get something out of this prize and chicken is really expensive, right? So, off I went to case Cowtown’s grocery stores for halal meat. You’d be surprised how many stores actually carry that one particular brand. Lucky for me. Given that time is running out, and with less than 20 coupons remaining, naturally, I have chicken on the brain.
This is the best chicken salad recipe! And it’s dear to my heart, being one of the first recipes I ever created, nearly 20 years ago. And it won a 2013 Healthy something contest. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the contest, so you won’t find it in my contest wins in the sidebar. Since then I have definitely become better organized with tracking contest wins. When I first started out contesting, I really didn’t anticipate that need. But this Thai chicken salad is definitely a winner.
Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- ½ cup sliced red pepper
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- 2 grilled chicken breasts
- ½ cup grated carrot
- ¼ cup green onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups instant vermicelli noodles
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cajun seasoning
- 3 cups water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 2 tbsp peanut butter * I use light peanut butter so it has less fat than calculator notes
- ¼ tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dry mustard
Season chicken with garlic powder and cajun seasoning and grill on BBQ until cooked through. Wash and chop vegetables, mix together. Soak vermicelli noodles in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and add to salad.
Add all dressing ingredients together and microwave for 45 seconds. Remove and stir with whisk. Return to microwave for another 45 seconds. Add, chicken, noodles, dressing and toss. Serve with garlic toast.
Quick Garlic Toast:
6 slices Thick Italian bread
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp parsley
Toast bread. Mix butter, minced garlic and parsley together. Spread on bread. Serve with salad.
VEGETARIAN *Use peanuts and raw sunflower seeds instead of chicken for vegetarian meal
*Substitute vegetables if you have aversions or preferences
*Substitute seasoning of your choice for the meat
*Buy pre-grated bag of carrots
*Buy whole roasted chicken from grocery store and chop up breast meat.
** I use light peanut butter, so it has less fat and calories than noted in this nutritional analysis (as light peanut butter was not an option)