It’s only mid June and it’s already SO HOT here. On warm summer nights I like to make dinners that won’t heat up my kitchen or my insides! I want something refreshing and nourishing that doesn’t require a hot oven.
My kids will eat anything if soy sauce is involved, so this salad is an easy win in our house! The flavors are to die for: pear, ginger, honey and fresh corn cut off the cob… all tossed with Asian vinaigrette! We love grilled chicken but this salad is also fantastic with shrimp kabobs or grilled salmon. You can find Asian vinaigrette dressings pre-made in store, but I love this one because it uses simple ingredients I already have on hand at home. My kids like how many different ingredients there are (especially the crispy wontons) and try to get a little of each favorite all together in one bite.
If your kiddos don’t like their foods touching, you can dissect this salad before dressing it and put a small bowl of vinaigrette on your child’s plate for dipping. Allowing them to dip the different parts gives them a sense of ownership and they can easily identify the foods they enjoy most (probably the crispy wontons!)
Toddlers can happily eat this meal alongside their parents by cutting the pieces small enough to be enjoyed as finger foods. This is a great way to introduce seeds slowly and in small pieces under your supervision. Save the honey vinaigrette for children over 1 year old.
Asian Chicken Salad Recipe
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup crispy wontons or sesame sticks (for garnish)
2 oranges, peeled and segmented (for garnish)
1 head (or bag) butter lettuce
½ cup celery chopped
1 pear (or apple), chopped
1 ear of corn, freshly cut off the cob
¼ cup Green Onions
4 T cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp honey
½ inch grated fresh ginger or ½ tsp dried powdered ginger
¼ cup avocado or olive oil
Combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey and ginger in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Slowly add oil while whisking, mix well.
In a small bowl, marinade chicken in 4 T of the Asian vinaigrette and set aside. (this can be done hours in advance).
Heat grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken directly on grill, or on a foil sheet to maintain extra moisture and marinade.
Chop and prepare salad ingredients. Toss salad ingredients, then drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with grilled chicken, crispy wontons, and orange slices.