Thai Cashew Chicken Salad

Is it too early in the week for a salad?

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks

What if it has cashews in it? And the dressing has cashew butter in it? Still too early?

I’d been on the phone with my sister the other day after a birthday lunch date she had with my mom. “What did you eat?” I demand. Her, “A cashew chicken salad. Crispy cashew. Something like that.” Me, “What was in it?” I order. Her, “I dunno, Bev, chicken, cashews, lettuce, it was good.” Me, “Was it creamy coated or more oil-based?” I command. Her, “Ugh, I can’t remember. Creamy, I think.” Me, “Did it have vegetables in it, or was it just the chicken and cashews?” I inquire. Her, “YOU’RE RUINING MY BIRTHDAY.”

Just kidding she didn’t say that!

She said I was ruining her life.

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks  Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks

We’ll never really know what was in her salad that fateful day, but by golly I will tell you what’s in mine. A crisp mix of lettuce greens, seared and chopped chicken, grated carrots, cooked and cooled edamame, freshly diced red bell pepper, CASHEWS, and a Thai cashew dressing that will sock your face straight into the next millennium. Not because it’s hot! Don’t get nervous. Because it’s downright delicious, pigeons.

*there are no pigeons in the dressing, just fyi.

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks

Since it’s Thai-flavored, you could absolutely pair this with a tiny mound of coconut rice on the side. Or not! The world is your oyster. I mean cashew.

I love this salad because while it’s light, it’s hearty. It gots a lots a veggies in it, and the cashews add that semi-soft crunch that only cashews have. You know what I mean, don’t you? It’s not like, a hard crunch, but it’s kind of soft. Buttery. A buttery crunch! And that goes well with the cashew butter. Although the dressing isn’t crunchy.

I’m getting confused.

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks

Eat some dang salad.

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad:

What it took for two large dinner salads:

* 2 chicken breast halves
* 1 cup edamame
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 2 medium carrots, grated
* 5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 Tbs. cashew butter
* 1 Tbs. lime juice
* 1 tsp red Thai curry paste
* 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
* 4-6 cups mixed salad greens
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup raw cashews

Heat 3 Tbs. oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper; cover and sear on one side for 5 minutes. Flip and sear another five. Let chicken rest for a few minutes. Give it a good dice.

Heat a small pot of water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook for five minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, cashew butter, lime juice, curry paste, cilantro, and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Taste that. Do you want more cashew taste? Add a little more butter. More zing? Add more lime. Yessss, yes.

So now, in a large mixing bowl, combine the salad greens, edamame, red bell pepper, carrots, chopped chicken and cashews. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, toss, toss.

It REALLY is good. You’ll see.

Thai Cashew Chicken Salad / Bev Cooks

CASHEWS.

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27 Responses to Thai Cashew Chicken Salad

  1. Cassie February 10, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    I’m always down for a salad with cashews!!

  2. Panna February 10, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    oooooh, this is my kind of food!

  3. Natalie @ Never Serious Blog February 10, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Freakin’ nom.

  4. Trisha (Stew or a Story) February 10, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    I’m craving this salad immediately! Love the idea of the curry paste in the dressing. I have a jar in my fridge and have been trying to figure out how to use it up. Thanks, Bev!!!

  5. Sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog February 10, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    YES! And, it’s never too early for salad

  6. Trish @ Well Worn Fork February 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    Everybody loves a Thai chicken salad!!

  7. Amy @Very Culinary February 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    When is it ever too early for a salad?? I want to shove my face in that bowl.

  8. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes February 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Salads for dinner are my life. I have to try this creamy cashew butter dressing.

  9. Lynn | The Road to Honey February 10, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

    I’ll take mine with a side of the coconut rice, karibu. Thank you.

    After 3 years of being deprived of salads during my time in Africa, I could eat a salad every day. This one looks so good I’d actually lick the bowl (ahem assuming I am home alone. . .and no one . . .including my pooch. . .is looking). Shhh! Our secret.

  10. Mia Dumont February 11, 2015 at 5:59 am #

    Hello Bev, I never get your emails for new blog posts! And I am registered! Heeelllppp!

  11. Caitlin February 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    I wish this was in front of me right now

  12. Jenny Flake February 11, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    What a gorgeous salad!! I love all those yummy ingredients 😀

  13. Paula - bell'alimento February 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    Cashews and Edamame um yes and of course please. Always please.

  14. Matea February 14, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    It’s never too early (or late) for a cashew salad! 🙂

  15. Kari February 14, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    This looks so amazing! Cashews are some of my favorite and I definitely don’t use them enough!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  16. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg February 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Delicious! I am in love with all of these flavors. Looks like this is on the menu for this week. 😀

  17. Pat February 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    This Thai food-loving, peanut-allergic girl loves you! I must try this.

  18. Rachel @ My Urban Oven February 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    Love the mash up of cashews in this recipe… would love to have it with some seared tuna on top… now I am hungry again!

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