Recipe: Thai "Rice" Salad With Chicken

This started as a recipe for a Thai Rice Salad with broiled salmon, but I had leftover chicken in the house, and I sure wasn't going to use rice! I played with the dressing some, too -- the original was sweeter, so add another teaspoon of sweetener if you think it needs it. I think the salad would be improved by chopped dry roasted peanuts on top, but I was going for something that would please regular low carbers and those who eat closer to paleo, as well -- since peanuts are a legume, they're not paleo. But truly, they'd be great here, if you want to add 'em. I'd probably chop about 1/4 cup, and sprinkle a tablespoonful over each serving.

Of course, seriously paleo folks might not use soy sauce. They could use more fish sauce, I suppose, but it's higher carb than soy sauce. I've heard of people using coconut aminos in place of soy sauce, but haven't tried 'em. Hey, I can't fix everything.

And, of course, you could make the salad without the chicken, and serve broiled salmon on top. Be awfully pretty that way.

Thai "Rice" Salad with Chicken

1/2 cauliflower, head
1 cucumber
1 carrot
8 scallions
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil or other bland oil
2 teaspoons Splenda or Stevia in the Raw, or other sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper -- to taste

Trim the bottom of your cauliflower's stem, and whack off the leaves. Now cut the cauliflower into chunks that will fit in your food processor's chute, and run it through the shredding blade. Dump your cauli-rice into a microwaveable casserole with a lid, or a microwave steamer, add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and nuke on high for 6 minutes.

While that's cooking, cut your cucumber into 1/4" dice (okay, mine were more rectangular than square) and shred your carrot. Slice your scallions, too, including the crisp part of the green. Cube your chicken. All of this stuff can go in a big mixing bowl.

Stir together everything from the lime juice through the chili garlic sauce (you could use Sriracha instead; the garlic doesn't make a big difference here). This is your dressing.

When the microwave beeps, pull out your cauliflower and uncover it, to stop the cooking. Let it cool a bit, stirring now and then to let the steam out. You don't want it to cook your other vegetables -- and especially not your cilantro.

Okay, your cauliflower's cooled enough that it won't result in cooked cucumber. Dump it into the mixing bowl, add the dressing, and stir it all up. Now stir in the cilantro, and taste. Do you think it needs salt and pepper? Add some! You could add more chili garlic or Sriracha if you think it needs it, for that matter, or you could just pass the bottle at the table. Up to you.

Pile on plates or in bowls, and serve!

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3-4 servings. Assuming 4, each will have: 243 Calories; 11g Fat ; 26g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 9 g usable carb.