Now that Labor Day festivities are over, time to refuel with green veggies. I browsed a bunch of blog sites several days ago to find salad recipes and came to a couple of conclusions: (1) Kale is trending and (2) I’m scared of it. So this is Sriracha Chicken Salad with Lime Vinaigrette and Not With Kale.
I’ve had some great kale salads. The Quiet Pint Tavern, a trendy-but-affordable new place down the street, which has quickly become one of my favorite spots, did a kale Caesar salad with a runny fried egg on top. Their menu changes constantly and I don’t think I’ve seen it since then, even though it was awesome. I also used to get a good kale salad at Just Salad, my old go-to lunch spot in NYC, that had Pirate’s Booty on it. Mmm hmmm.
So why am I scared of kale? You have to massage it. I can’t just take it out of the bag and put it on a plate. It requires actual work. I bought a kale “mix” once while I was living with my parents and Mom requested that I not buy “that spiky lettuce” anymore. And what if the BBF doesn’t like it? I can’t deal with more rejection.
SO THIS IS NOT A KALE SALAD.
Sriracha Chicken Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 pineapple rings preferably fresh
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 limes juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons raw honey
- dash sea salt
- 4 cups lettuce
To make the marinade: Combine sriracha, juice of 1 lime, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and black pepper in a marinade dish, bowl or Ziploc bag. Add the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep the pineapple, tomatoes, onion, and avocado.
To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, juice of 1 1/2 limes, honey and dash sea salt. Taste and adjust as desired.
In a serving dish, toss lettuce with vinaigrette and top with tomatoes, onion, and avocado.
To finish the chicken and pineapple: Heat the grill. You may also use a stove top if you do not have a grill. If using a stove top, cook the chicken over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Add the pineapple to the grill or sear on a skillet over high heat, about 1 minute.
Slice the chicken and add to the salad. Add pineapple to finish assembly. Now serve!
What I would do differently: Not a thing! The BBF asked, “What’s in the dressing,” which I interpreted to mean, “Is the dressing also spicy? Please say yes!” When he found out that the only sriracha was on the chicken, he proceeded to douse his salad in Trader Joe’s Habañero Hot Sauce.
My rating: 5/5 stars. I really like it! Lots of flavors. The avocado and the acidity of the pineapple cut the spiciness of chicken. The chicken fills you up, but doesn’t weigh you down. The grilled pineapple is like dessert mixed in. It’s healthy, but manly enough to serve the BBF. A winner!
The BBF’s rating: 4/5 stars. If he gives this gem a 4, then what’s he gonna give the kale salad I have coming?