Everyone needs a Clean Eating Chicken Salad in their meal repertoire. Its crisp, light and fresh and perfect for getting back on track after a weekend blowout. Marinated tangy chicken, together with a bright colourful crunchy rice and veg salad coupled with a zesty ginger, mustard and lemon dressing, this dish will fill you up and you won’t even need dessert.
So, this chicken salad is quick to make, even with the marinated chicken. I get all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and put the chicken into the liquid and let it sit for 10 minutes. That’s all.
You might not think that this makes much of a difference to the overall flavour, but I can tell you it takes it from an average run of the mill chicken salad to deliciously moreish salad that I would eat more than once per week. Yep.
10 Minute Prep For A Clean Eating Salad
Whilst the chicken is marinating, spend that 10 minutes preparing the salad and making the dressing. If you use pre cooked rice (the kind you microwave for 60 or 90 seconds), you can absolutely get all the prep done in this time.
Heat up a pan, or skillet – I like my pan to be pretty hot so I can hear the sizzle when I put the chicken on. Be aware that because of the marinade, it might appear that the chicken is burning, but its just the marinade sealing in the flavours.
The Best Chicken For a Quick Chicken Salad
For this recipe, I like to use the chicken schnitzel pieces from Woolworths. It’s basically a thin chicken breast about 1cm in thickness. Because it’s thin, it does cook pretty quickly. Tick. It also makes it easier to cut it into strips.
TIP: When making the dressing, use a jar with a lid. Put all the ingredients in, tighten the lid and give it a shake and leave it. When you’re ready to pour it onto the salad, give it another good shake just before.
The Perfect Work Lunch as well…
Not only is this one of my favourite recovery dishes after a bout of overindulgence, it also makes a great lunch to take to work.
It’s easy to make ahead. Chicken in one container, salad in another container. Dressing in one of those cute little containers made just for dressings and sauces.
Reheat the chicken at work, add it to the salad, pour over the dressing and boom, you’ll be the envy of all your office co-workers who are eating boring ham and cheese sandwiches.
3 Ways to Change up this Eating Salad
- Instead of chicken, marinate some strips of lean beef. Just as yum!
- Switch the walnuts in the salad with hazelnuts or unsalted cashews (toasted if you like)
- Instead of rice as the salad base, try quinoa, high fibre wholemeal pasta, or cous cous (isralei or pearl).
This is one of my favourite salads. Easy, tasty, Quick, and really versatile. Actually you could pretty much round up all the salad/vegetable type bits and bobs is in your fridge and pantry and create your own masterpiece. Perfect really.
Clean Eating Chicken Salad
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup Spinach leaves
- ½ medium Red onion - finely diced
- ½ medium Lebanese Cucumber - finely diced
- 10 Cherry tomatoes - quartered
- 1 medium Green apple - finely diced
- ½ cup Walnuts - crumbled
- 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon White wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Ginger - freshly grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Marinade: Add all of the ingredients for the marinade (except chicken) into a medium sized bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Dressing: In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk to combine. Cover and set aside in the fridge for later.
- Salad: in a medium salad bowl, gather all the salad ingredients and the cooked rice. Toss to combine. Cover and set aside.
- Cook the Chicken: Lightly spray a hot pan or grill with olive/vegetable oil, and add the chicken. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side until it has browned and developed some colour and char marks.
- Finalise the salad: Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Divide the salad in half and put onto two plates.
- Cut the chicken pieces and place half on each plate. Drizzle remaining dressing over chicken and serve immediately.