Sunday night and the weather was gorgeous.  Seriously, it was a treat to go outside, cut the grass and water my tomatoes – it was warm, but not hot and no humidity!  (after living in Washington, DC, for eight years, humidity is something I do not miss).  Sunday afternoon was spent outside in my mother-in-laws front garden picking somewhere between five and seven pounds of blackberries from her brambles.  And, even then, I still don’t feel like I made a dent in the bounty that is this year’s crop.  The hot spring we had, paired with the cool weather and abundant rain that followed seems to have yielded a blackberry abundance that will last me until next summer!  My greedy self will be back out there Wednesday after work to harvest Round Two – helloooo blackberry jelly, blackberry and apple crumble, and blackberry muffins … !!

So, after all that fresh air and gardening, I was in the mood for something that was healthy like a salad, but a little more complex and filling.  This started out simple, but I got a bit carried away – and I’m so glad I did!  The different textures and tastes make this a fantastic main course served in your biggest bowls.  Plus, it’s healthy and light, so you don’t feel all stodgy afterwards – which is the LAST thing you want on a gorgeous summer night!  This will serve a VERY hungry three or be a nice lunch-size portion for four.

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

  • 1/2 of a roasted or rotisserie chicken (I like to use both dark and white meats for texture and flavor)
  • 1/2 cabbage, thinly shredded (I like using pointy or “sweetheart” cabbage)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red chili pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into thick matchsticks
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 “brick” dried egg noodles per person
  • handful peanuts, chopped (optional for garnish)

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together then set aside.  In a pot of boiling water, cook the dried egg noodles per the instructions.  In a very large bowl, toss together the cabbage, cucumber, chili, carrot and green onion.  When the noodles are done, drain and toss with the salad while still hot to partially wilt the cabbage, then drizzle half the dressing and toss again.  Shred the chicken and either toss with the salad and remaining dressing or serve up the salad and layer the shredded chicken on top and drizzle over the remaining dressing.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts if you’d like.

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