Reena’s Kooky Kitchen
A series of kooky yet nutritious recipes I concoct daily to feed my taste buds AND my health! Hope you enjoy and please share comments if you are brave enough to try these recipes!
Healthy Sesame Chicken Salad
I’m a huge fan of the sweet and tangy taste and could devour Chinese and Thai food daily. Now salads, not so much. They are dry and boring and take so much chewing. So, I try to tweak and twirl my salad daily to make it more delicious. Or I take unhealthy yet lip licking salads and try to make them healthier.
Here’s my version of my favorite (but ridiculously unhealthy) Chinese chicken salad! It’s fun to see how easily we can make a few swaps and create a whole new dining experience that is nourishing and palatable.
Enjoy and share how you make your salads yummier below in comments! Or submit a recipe and we will feature it.
2 cups romaine lettuce, julienned
- 1 cup Napa Cabbage, julienned
- 1/4 cup red cabbage, julienned
- 1/4 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 cooked and shredded chicken breast
- 1 large cucumber, chopped small or julienned
- 1/4 cup microgreens
- 1/4 cup sprouted slivered almonds (or jungle peanuts!)
- 2 small thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
- 1/2 cup diced organic oranges
- a small piece of ginger, julienned
Healthy Salad Dressing:
- 2 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs)
- 1/4 cup freshly blended oranges (about 2 oranges typically)
- 1/4 teaspoon Monk fruit or Stevia green leaf powder OR 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tsp. Coconut Aminos
- 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Tahini or organic peanut butter
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
- Toss all the ingredients, except cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds, together in a large salad bowl.
- Then make the dressing as follows: Blend 2 oranges in a high-speed blender till fully blended into smooth juice. Then toss in and blend well with apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, honey or stevia, sesame oil, pepper, tahini or peanut butter and salt.
- Taste the dressing and adjust salt and sweetness as needed.
- Then pour the dressing on the salad and toss well with cilantro, green onions, and sesame seed.
- Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes and enjoy the cold crispy sweet tartness on a hot sultry summer afternoon!
- Romaine Lettuce: Although it’s low in fiber, it’s high in minerals, such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. It’s naturally low in sodium. Plus, romaine lettuce is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It’s a good source of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body.
- Cabbage: It is also a very good source of manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, folate, and copper. Additionally, cabbage is a good source of choline, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, pantothenic acid, protein, and niacin.
- Carrot: Carrots are a particularly good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants(1). Carrots have a number of health benefits. They are a weight loss friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
- Chicken Breast: Chicken breast is an excellent source of low–fat protein. Protein helps your body to maintain muscle mass and also helps you to build muscle if you are participating in a strength program. Chicken breast is also a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin.
- Cucumber: They are low in calories but contain many important vitamins and minerals, as well as a high water content. Eating cucumbers may lead to many potential health benefits, including weight loss, balanced hydration, digestive regularity and lower blood sugar levels.
- Microgreens: Researchers found microgreens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts. Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination.
- Slivered Almonds: Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
- Onions: The phytochemicals in onions that scavenge free radicals may also reduce your risk of developing gastric ulcers, according to the National Onion Association. The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulfur in onions helps lower blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production.
- Sesame Seeds: High Source of Cholesterol-Lowering Phytosterols. Protect Heart Health. Improve Blood Pressure. Balance Hormones. Fight Cancer. Help Burn Fat. Boost Nutrient Absorption. Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals Like Iron, Fiber, and Magnesium.
- Cilantro: Rids the Body of Heavy Metals. Protects Against oxidative stress. Lowers Anxiety and Improves Sleep. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels. Protects against Cardiovascular Disease. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections. Settles Digestive Upset. Protects Against Food Poisoning.
- Orange: Sweet, juicy oranges make a delicious and healthy snack or addition to a meal. A whole orange contains only about 85 calories and has no fat, cholesterol or sodium. And, of course, “oranges are well known for their vitamin C content,” said Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist.
- Ginger: Possible health benefits include relieving nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain. The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form, or as juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric.
- Himalayan or Celtic salt: Having enough stomach acid also helps our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, folate, and B12. So consuming a high-quality sea salt regularly can help your body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat. The right amount of sea salt helps your body produce proper amounts of HCL since sea salt provides chloride, which is the building block of stomach acid.
- Apple cider vinegar: Helps improve digestion by increasing stomach acid. Drinking a glass (8 oz) of water mixed with 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar* 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation by increasing HCl production.
- Stevia: May Help Control Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels. Stevia May Lower Blood Pressure.
- Monk Fruit: Safe for diabetes. Monk fruit gets its sweetness from natural compounds called mogrosides. Promotes weight loss. Monk fruit has no calories, carbs, or fat, so it may be a great option for anyone watching their waistline. Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Coconut Aminos: Aside from being soy free and gluten free, coconut aminos is low GI and packed with minerals, vitamin C, and B vitamins. As the name suggests, it is high in amino acid, containing 17 different types. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential to our health and nutrition
- Sesame Oil: Sesame seed Oil has incredible benefits including treating the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, lowers blood pressure, fights stress and depression, helps in improving oral health, maintains good skin health, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, detoxifies skin, helps in preventing diabetes, provides natural cure for anemia, has innate anti-cancerous properties, helps in improving eye health
- Tahini: It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there. It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B15.
- Peanut Butter: It’s full of nutrients. Peanut butter contains protein, fiber, potassium, healthy fats as well as antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin E.
- Black Pepper: Include fighting depression, promoting digestion, helping with nutrient absorption, treating ulcers, supporting weight loss, treating cough and sore throat, promoting a healthy heart and soothing toothaches.
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