September 14

Asian Cabbage Chicken Salad

For a year and a half, I lived with my best friend and her parents. I was trying to escape the clutches of depressing, go-nowhere Nevada, and having just returned from Europe with said best friend, I was in no way, shape, or form going back to that crap little town my parents moved to 3 years prior (while I was in college, no less). I got to live rent free at the house, but I did things like keep my room clean, help walk the dogs (or watch after them if my friend’s mom [who is a second mom to me] had to run errands), unload and load the dishwasher throughout the day, do my own laundry, and cook on occasion. Sometimes my father would offer to pay for dinner at a steakhouse for all of us, to thank them for taking me in.

It was such an ideal situation. Some days, I wish I could go back to that. While it was always a good time, I’m glad I’m not there anymore just because that means I wouldn’t be living with my love and our dog and own a home and… you get the picture.

One thing I really miss from those days is my Second Mom’s™ food. She made some of the best food – as moms tend to do – and while yes, I could make them myself, they just wouldn’t be as good. One of those food items was a salad. Yes. A salad. But not just any salad:  an Asian cabbage and chicken salad. I don’t know what it is about the combination of ingredients that give me an appetite that knows no satiety. It’s good. It’s so good. It’s sweet and savory and a tad salty.

I have learned the hard way, however, that the ingredients for the dressing are not to be messed with, as far as quantities go. I had thought 2 Tablespoons of white sugar was just way too much and therefore left half of it out and it wasn’t very good. The salad’s ingredients are great together, but they are NOTHING without the dressing.

I’m drooling now just thinking about it and it’s been a week since I made it last.

Asian Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

1 small cabbage, shredded
4-6 chicken tenderloins
2 packs uncooked ramen noodles
3 Tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

Directions

1) Boil chicken and cube. Let cool.

2) In a large bowl, combine cabbage, chicken, crushed ramen, almonds, and sesame seeds.

3) In separate small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.

4) Pour dressing over cabbage and toss. Serve cold.

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