Orange Chicken Salad

Orange Chicken Salad

I have an autoimmune disorder.

Some of you may know it by the name Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (or just Hashimoto’s.) It hides behind hypothyroidism a lot.

In fact, the majority of women that have hypothyroid issues probably have Hashimoto’s. I’ve been fighting this battle for over seven years now—unfortunately, I’ve only known it was Hashimotos for just over two years, even though I’ve attempted to get tested and suspected it for awhile now.

I’ve recently started working with a nutritionist to help me maximize my health. As I have done before, I’m gluten / grain free while I reset my body into a better state of health and try to help my immune system out.

Pregnancy can wreak REAL havoc on a girl.

Unfortunately, my antibodies are sky high and have been for awhile, which means that my attention to diet and vigilance with meditation and yoga are high priority right now.

This salad totally hit the spot.

In fact, I loved it so much, I’m going to make the chicken from it all. the. freaking. time.

Picture it: The wind outside is nuts. Even though my cozy mountain house is all shut up against the winter storm, I can hear it in the pine trees right outside. The gate keeps rattling. Orange rinds litter my counter. My son is using his imagination to play with some toys, while my dogs attempt to beg. Smoke billows into the air from the stovetop, where I’ve just roasted—read: blackened—some almonds for this salad on my cast iron skillet.

When I throw the waiting chicken breasts onto the sizzling coconut oil, they steam. The smells of coconut aminos (way better than soy sauce, #justsayin) and fresh squeezed orange juice fills the air.

Part of my self-challenge here is to make these foods as Kim has outlined them. I have a habit of getting too freely creative. For this one, I cut a few corners. Instead of buying orange juice, I used fresh squeezed. She had some other crunchy noodles for variations in the recipe, but I just forwent those and stayed with roasted almonds. Also, I didn’t marinade ahead of time (just while prepping it) and the chicken still came out glazed amazing. F’real.

If you’re on the fence about these recipes, climb off onto the “yes” side here, because this chicken is worth it. Even if it wasn’t, the dressing is.

Even husband set his fork down and said, “That salad is legit.”

Also, #allthecilantro.

Here’s how you make them for yourself:

You’ll need:

2 chicken breasts
1 can of mandarin oranges (in water not syrup), drained
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1 package of raw ramen noodles (without the seasoning)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
5 cups of raw spinach leaves
1 cup of cilantro
2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger

DIRECTIONS:

Marinate the chicken breasts in the orange juice and soy sauce the day before you cook them.

In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the coconut oil on medium-low heat. Crush the ramen noodles into small chunks and pieces. Place the raw noodles and almond slivers into the heated pan with the oil. Stir and toast the pieces until they are slightly golden. Set them aside.

Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Once the pan is heated, place the chicken breasts into the pan. Cook them for 5 minutes on each side or until they are cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and place them onto a cutting board to rest and cool slightly. Once they have cooled, slice them into 1-inch slices and set them aside.

Place the olive oil, 1/2 cup of orange juice, minced garlic, and fresh minced ginger into a glass measuring cup. Whisk them until they are combined and resemble a salad dressing.

Place the fresh spinach in a large bowl. Chop the cilantro into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the spinach. Add the mandarin orange slices and sprinkle the ramen noodle/slivered almond mixture along with the black sesame seeds on top. Pour the dressing on top and lightly toss the salad. Place the sliced chicken breasts on top and serve the salad right away.

Trust me, you owe it to yourself to get these recipes.

Find this recipe and more in The Health and Happiness Society Cookbook here!

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