I Love Veggies Week: Applebees-inspired chicken Oriental salad

The gray skies and downpour is totally sapping the energy out of me! This morning I got up well before dawn to get bloodwork done and decided to treat myself to a nonfat latte at Starbucks before work. Even that isn’t helping the slump. Also, this rainy weather is making my back soooooo achy! Again tonight, I’m skipping the gym in favor of an at home yoga and stretching workout. Besides, it’s TBL night and my writer’s group meeting.

Despite today’s dreariness, yesterday was beautiful: it was sunny with temps in the 60s. I thought it might be the last good salad night of the season. (For some reason, I just don’t have a taste for salads when the weather is cooler.) So I decided to make my own version of my favorite Applebees salad.

The only thing I ever order at Applebees is their Oriental Chicken Salad–the grilled version. I love how the dressing lends a tangy bite to an otherwise boring salad of chicken and cabbage while the crisp almonds and chow mein noodles give a little extra crunch.

Making the salad was easy but the dressing took a few failed attempts until–duh!–I realized I could probably find a copycat recipe online. Here’s my modified solo-sized version of the salad.

Salad Ingredients

  • Half a bag of sliced Chinese cabbage (I get this at Wegman’s, an amazing supermarket chain based in Rochester, NY, but if your supermarket doesn’t have this, you can easily chop up some napa or Chinese cabbage and shred some carrot).
  • 3-4 oz chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg white plus 1 TBS of milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pam or another nonstick spray
  • 2 TBS slivered almonds
  • 2 TBS chow mein noodles

Salad Directions

  1. Mix the egg white, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk well.
  2. Pat the chicken dry and dip it in the egg white mixture. Roll the chicken in Panko until covered then cook in a pan sprayed with Pam until the outside is crisp and the inside is cooked appropriately (165 degrees for poultry!).
  3. I generally like to dice the chicken once it is cooked and has rested for a minute or so, then I toss it on my cabbage mixture, sprinkle on the almonds and chow mein noodles (I skipped them this time–the almonds are actually a healthier source of calories anyway). Then whisk up some dressing (recipe found here at Top Secret Recipes) and toss to coat.

Don’t be afraid to make your own dressing. It’s really easy!

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All dressed up and ready to go!

NOTE: I find that the Top Secret Recipes dressing recipe makes at least two servings so feel free to save yourself some calories and only use what you need.

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