This Asian chicken chopped salad is loaded with fresh vegetables and tossed with spicy peanut dressing. It's healthy and is the perfect make ahead meal. It's also dairy and egg-free.
It still feels surreal. When I packed my weekender bag to head down to Houston, little did I know that on the very same day, I would lose the man I had called “appa” (daddy in Korean) for the past 7 years.
Even though we all knew of the unstoppable progression of the heartless cancer cells (may we never meet again!) rampaging throughout his body, nothing could’ve prepared us for that moment…the moment when he looked at his bride with the most expressive and loving eyes for the very last time. Having expelled his last bit of energy, his eyelids then fell heavy.
Soon the sound of monitor alarms filled the room, and my sisters-in-law, sobbing with desperation in their voices, began announcing, “His heart rate is dropping..it’s dropping…” It happened all too quickly.
And just like that we found ourselves waiting for the doctor to pronounce his death. He was 72 years young and months shy from celebrating a 50 year wedding anniversary with his faithful wife.
As the nurse took out his central IV line and the countless other lines he was attached to, my MIL told her, “He was a good husband.” And a great father and the most God-fearing man I’ve known. He’s no longer with us on this earth, but we rejoice in the fact that he’s finally in the arms of his Heavenly Father; the One he surrendered and devoted his entire life to.
That absolute certainty is what’s keeping all of us going…that and the tremendous outpouring of love from the people whose lives he touched (and there were a lot of them..we had about a 100 car motorcade to the burial site).
We're able to go on about our days just as we had done before because we know this isn’t the end. We shall all be reunited again someday, but until then, he will truly be missed.
Photo: Taken several months ago but seems like yesterday. We joked about how we resembled Candy Crush. I wore the exact same color as my FIL (swear it wasn't planned!). His hair had turned white from the chemo at this time.
So the day before I left for Houston, I made this Asian chopped salad tossed in a rich, creamy, and spicy peanut dressing. Boy, am I thankful for my proactive nature or else I would be eating cereal all week long (not that that would've necessarily been a bad thing 😉 ).
This dish is not hard to prepare by any means. However, it does require a lot of prep work. You see where this is going, don't you?
Everyone has at least 30 minutes of free time at some point during the week (or so I hope), so let's use that time wisely and do some serious rinsing, shredding, and chopping. Once that's done, all there's left to do is make the dressing (takes like 10 seconds to make), toss everything together & place in a container, and keep in the fridge to be enjoyed throughout the week.
Check out my Meal Prep Tips, if interested!
I had some roasted chicken on hand that I ended up tossing in at the last minute for that extra staying power, but feel free to use whatever protein source you have, whether it's tofu, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, etc..
Asian Chopped Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- 4 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 2 cups chopped red cabbage
- ½ cup peeled and grated carrots
- ½ cup peeled and grated broccoli stem
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1-2 cups diced chicken breast
For the Spicy Peanut Dressing
- ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
- water, if need to thin
- For the salad: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients
- For the dressing: Add all the ingredients in a food processor/blender and blend until well combined. Add water to your desired thickness.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad and the dressing separately.
- Toss in the dressing right before serving.
I dedicate this fresh and vibrant salad to my appa who would've licked this bowl clean. I miss you like crazy.