Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.

     

    Why You Will Love This

     

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Did you ever feel you really wanted the crunch and flavour of KFC chicken, but in Tofu? Or anything other than meat really, but Tofu really offers itself due to the structure and tenderness you get, when you first press then marinate it. In this case in a marinade made from almond milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a spice mix from Joshua Weissman that is very similar to KFCs.
    This infuses the tofu with lovely tang and lots of flavour, getting it ready to be coated in crushed cornflakes. You can bake it in the oven or pan fry, but I found it bakes best in the air fryer, giving you perfectly crunchy and golden pieces, that are rather addictive when dipped into the Caesar Cashew dressing.

    The all-important Caesar Dressing made vegan

    While typical Caesar dressing is made with mayonnaise and anchovies, I’m using a base of cashews, which are blended into a super creamy dressing with capers, to give the salty, briny umami notes you’d usually get from anchovies and Worcester sauce. Nutritional yeast replaces the parmesan, making the dressing vegan.

    While you could of course use a vegan mayonnaise, I prefer the nutritional benefits of cashews, adding protein and minerals. Plus the more natural taste they give to any salad dressing. And I use them for many different ones like my Cashew Ranch Dressing.

    Thyme Lemon Garlic Croutons

    Another defining and rather addictive element of the Caesar salad are the croutons. They are also an ideal use for any stale bread you might have. I used homemade sourdough bread, but any reasonably good bread will do. A few days old is perfect, as it will crisp up in the oven or air fryer. I added fresh thyme from my garden, grated lemon zest from the lemon I used for the dressing, some garlic powder, salt, and olive oil, to give it a lovely herby and fresh flavour.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Crouton Ingredients

    Making them in the air fryer is fantastic, as you only need to shake them once and it’s hands off apart from that. They come out perfectly golden and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

    Mixed Salad

    While the classic Caesar Salad would be Romaine, I always like different veggies in my dinner, so I added shredded carrot, thinly sliced white cabbage, sweetcorn, red onions that are being quick pickled in some lemon juice.
    I’ve also added black grapes, but if you are not a fan of fruit in your salads, you could swap them for black olives, which would go really well with the vegan Caesar dressing.

    You could just leave out or swap around any of the veggies I added here. Cucumber and tomatoes would be nice too, radishes, different types of greens, kale in particular or even added asparagus.

     

    The Ingredients

     

    I’m just mentioning a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them. For the full list, please check the recipe card.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu Marinade

    For the Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu I’m using firm tofu. In Ireland I find the best one of those I tried is from “The Tofuu Co.” https://www.tesco.ie/groceries/en-IE/products/294476706
    You can use any brand, as long as it’s very firm, so it doesn’t fall apart when marinating and then breading.

    Since I wanted to get as close as I could to buttermilk fried chicken, similar to KFC, but without the chicken and huge amount of fat, I used almond milk mixed lemon juice and spices. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list. You will likely have them in your spice collection already, as they are very common.
    The Joshua Weissman recipe for the spice mix I adapted had celery powder in it, which I couldn’t find here, so I used celery salt. This made also up for the fact that Tofu is a bit more neutral than chicken on its own, so it can take more salt.
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    I left out the MSG though. Not last because I didn’t have any, but also due to its rather questionable reputation. Personally I admit I haven’t looked into it much, as I rarely eat out, let alone buy convenience food, so it wasn’t much of a topic for me to focus on.
    If you are a fan, feel free to include some. I think the marinade does a fantastic job as it is though.

    Seasoned Flour and Cornflakes are then used for “breading”. And because I’m not working with raw meat, the marinade does double duty instead of eggs, to attach the two dry coatings to the tofu.

    The Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Using cashews as base has become my favourite way to create super creamy, delicious, and nutritious salad dressings. I honestly wouldn’t go back to mayonnaise based, even without the calorie and nutrition consideration. I tried one recently again and simply didn’t like the greasy texture and taste anymore. The cashews are neutral enough to add any flavourings you like and with even a small highspeed blender like the Nutribullet you get an extremely smooth base.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing

    While the original Caesar dressing didn’t have anchovies, they have become a rather classic way to add umami and saltiness to this tangy sauce. Brined capers, even though I’m not a fan of them on their own (wouldn’t eat anchovies on their own either) have a very similar effect when blended and add a hint of their briny flavour, which goes really well with the tangy punch of mustard and lemon juice that give the dressing its characteristic taste.

    Often parmesan is used to add more saltiness and a cheesy background flavour. So you can use either grated parmesan or, like me, nutritional yeast for a very similar effect.

     

    The Process

     

    Salad

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Meal Prep

    Prepare your salad ingredients:
    Roughly chop the Romaine Lettuce, grate the carrots, finely shred the cabbage, drain and wash the sweetcorn, wash the grapes (or drain olives if you prefer salty to sweet) and keep all in separate containers.

    Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a small bowl mix with ¼ tsp salt and 2-3 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and leave to marinade until ready to use.

    All the veggies will keep well for 3-4 days, if you keep them separate.

    Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Drain the soaked cashews. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. You can use a normal blender or food processor, but it won’t get as lovely smooth and creamy.
    Blend until creamy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing
    Have a taste and add more salt, mustard, or lemon juice to balance the flavours to your liking.

    Croutons

    In a small bowl, mix your olive oil, chopped thyme (or any other hardy herb you might have on hand. Rosemary works very well too), garlic powder and salt.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Add your bread cubes to a larger bowl. Drizzle over your olive oil mix, turning the cubes over after half over it, so they are all coated evenly. Stir carefully to distribute the oil mix and let them sit for a few minutes so the oil can absorb.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Bake in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 4 minutes, toss and turn once, then bake for another 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve. Nibble a few, you know you want to.

    The Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Similar to chicken, that improves dramatically with brining, tofu needs a bit of help to come to its full potential. So this needs a bit of planning ahead. Start about 2h before you plan to fry the tofu or the day before.

    First remove your tofu from its package, drain the fluid and press it. You can either wrap it into a clean kitchen towel between 2 wooden boards and put something heavy on top. Or, if you want a much easier and less precarious solution, get a tofu press like this one and put it in the fridge for an hour or longer.

    Once your tofu has given up some of its liquid, it’s time to marinade it. Cut into about ½ in / 1cm thick slices and halve them diagonal. You could just leave them in one piece, but I think more corners mean more crunch and more crunch is always better.

    Mix your plant milk with a tbsp of lemon juice and let it stand while you get your spice mix together. Add the marinade spice mix to the now curdled milk and whisk well. In a container that is large enough to hold all tofu pieces in one layer or a freezer bag, add first your tofu then pour the tangy, spicy milk mix over it. Now let this marinade in the fridge for at least 1h, better even overnight.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Meanwhile, mix the flour with the spices and herbs for the dredge mix. This will season the tofu even more and give it that characteristic crust you’d get on fried chicken.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Now obviously we are not deep frying this, so the incredible crunchy crust that develops when the marinade-flour (and usually egg) mixture hits the hot fat, will come from crushed cornflakes.

    In a firmly closed freezer bag, crush your cornflakes either by hand or, carefully, so you don’t pop the bag and scatter the crumbs across your kitchen (never happened to me…ahem…) with a rolling pin or bottom of a cooking pot. You want relatively rough crumbs, not fine as panko. Check the picture for the texture we are aiming for.

    When you are ready to fry your tofu, set up a breading station with 3 rimmed containers or deep plates. Into one add your flour-spice dredge, the second will hold all the remaining marinade that wasn’t absorbed by the tofu, the third has the crushed cornflakes.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Using one hand for dry and one for wet, to avoid the dreaded dough fingers, firmly press your tofu first into the flour, coating it very well, pushing it in, so it sticks. Then into the marinade, turning once until coated- Last into the cornflakes, again, pressing firmly, covering it with the crumbs and pushing down until every last bit is well coated.

    Spray both your air fryer basket and the tofu pieces with a bit of vegetable or avocado oil.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu

    The crunchy tofu will take about 15 minutes in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C, turning it once very carefully after 10minutes, the fry for another 5 until golden and crunchy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    I you are making them in the oven, this will take about 25-30minutes at 450°F/225°C, turning them after 15 minutes.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    To Serve

    First drape a bed of romaine lettuce on a plate, followed by the carrots, cabbage, sweetcorn, onions and grapes or olives. Drizzle everything with a bit of the Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing. Top with croutons and crispy tofu and serve with more dressing on the side, to drizzle over or dip your tofu pieces into.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

     

    Meal Prep

     

    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.

    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    If you liked this, you might also enjoy:

    Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goats Cheese

    How about a fresh dessert?

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

     

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.
    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Tofu Pressing and marinading 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
    Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
    Cuisine American, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 553 kcal

    Equipment

    • High Speed Blender, oven or air fryer

    Ingredients
      

    Salad

    • 1 Romaine Lettuce
    • 1 can Sweetcorn
    • ¼ white cabbage thinly sliced
    • 2 carrots coarsely grated
    • 2 cups Grapes
    • 2 onions thinly sliced
    • 1 Lemon juice
    • ¼ tsp salt

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing

    • ½ cup raw cashews soaked for 30min in just boiled water
    • ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp capers
    • 2 cloves garlic

    Homemade Croutons

    • 4 slices sourdough bread cubed into bite sized pieces
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    • 1 Block tofu pressed
    • 1 cup plant milk with lemon juice
    • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 cups crushed cornflakes

    11 Herbs and Spices Dredge

    • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1 tsp celery powder or celery salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp dried oregano crushed
    • 1 tsp dried thyme crushed
    • 2 tsp mustard powder

    Instructions
     

    Salad:

    • Prepare all salad ingredients as mentioned. Marinate sliced onions in salt and lemon juice. Keep all ingredients separate.

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing:

    • Drain soaked cashews.
    • In a blender, combine soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, capers, and garlic cloves.
    • Blend until creamy. Adjust salt, mustard, or lemon juice to taste.

    Homemade Croutons:

    • Preheat air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
    • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, chopped thyme, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
    • Toss cubed bread in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated.
    • Air fry for 4 minutes, toss, then fry for another 2 minutes until golden and crisp.
    • Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu:

    • Press tofu to remove excess liquid.
    • Cut tofu into slices about ½ inch thick, then half diagonal.
    • Mix plant milk with lemon juice and let it curdle.
    • Combine the plant “buttermilk” with salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Marinate tofu in this mixture for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Overnight is better.
    • Crush cornflakes into coarse crumbs.
    • Mix flour with spices for dredge.
    • Set up a breading station with flour-spice dredge, remaining marinade, and crushed cornflakes.
    • Coat tofu slices in flour mixture, then marinade, and last crushed cornflakes.
    • Spray air fryer basket and tofu slices with oil.
    • Air fry tofu at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

    To Serve:

    • Arrange romaine lettuce on plates.
    • Top with grated carrots, sliced cabbage, sweetcorn, marinated onions, grapes (or olives), and croutons.
    • Drizzle with Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing.
    • Add crispy air-fried tofu on top.
    • Serve additional dressing on the side for dipping or drizzling.
    • Enjoy your Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu!

    Notes

    Meal Prep
    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.
    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 3778mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 8gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 4893IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 14mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    553
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    17
    g
    26
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    9
    g
    Sodium
     
    3778
    mg
    164
    %
    Potassium
     
    614
    mg
    18
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    84
    g
    28
    %
    Fiber
     
    8
    g
    33
    %
    Sugar
     
    18
    g
    20
    %
    Protein
     
    20
    g
    40
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    4893
    IU
    98
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    31
    mg
    38
    %
    Calcium
     
    226
    mg
    23
    %
    Iron
     
    14
    mg
    78
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegetables, Vegetarian, versatile
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    This zesty Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime was inspired by my Cuban Pork series. I used it in both the Salad and Tacos. It’s delicious with any salad and wakes up your tastebuds in winter quite effectively. Also nut based means it’s nutritious, can fit into the Nutritarian diet, if made without salt and lower calorie than oil based. What’s not to like?

    Why You Want To Make This

    I started making nut based dressings during my weight loss journey and found them so delicious, I switched to them for most of my salads.

    Cashew tends to be a firm favourite, as it gets super creamy, but in this one I’m using Hazelnuts for variety. The hazelnuts don’t get as creamy, but I loved the favour they added and due to the crunch from the coleslaw, the remaining texture in the dressing wasn’t really noticeable.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Ingredients

    The benefits of nut based dressings are, that they are easier to absorb for the body, add healthy fats, have more fibre and different nutrients than just oil. Also, a more complex flavour, which is always good. They tend to add a creamy consistency, but less calories. Win/win really.

    The Process

    I’m using soaked hazelnuts here, which I then throw into my Nutribullet. You could use other nuts too. Cashews or Almonds make an even creamier dressing.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Process

    If you don’t have a blender, you could just use any nut butter and add a bit more water. The flavour will change depending on what nuts you are using. Tahini would work too here.

    The nuts are blended with water, orange and lime zest and juice, cilantro and garlic, sweetened with a bit op maple syrup. This mimics the Cuban marinade I used for the pork and adds incredible flavour.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Meal Prep

    The Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime can be prepared ahead of time and will keep in the fridge for about 4 days in a jar with lid.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Uses

    I have used this for the coleslaw in my Healthy Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos and my Cuban Pulled Pork salad. But since it’s orange and lime based, it works well with most salads.

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    This zesty Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime was inspired by my Cuban Pork series and I used it in both the Salad and Tacos. It’s delicious with any salad and wakes up your tastebuds in winter quite effectively. Also nut based means it’s nutritious, can fit into the Nutritarian diet, if made without salt and lower calorie than oil based. What’s not to like?
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Soaking time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
    Course condiment, Dressing, Ingredient
    Cuisine American, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 110 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    • ½ cup hazelnuts. Soaked for 1h in hot water or overnight in cold. Drained.
    • ¼ cup water
    • 2 limes zest, and juice
    • 1 orange zested and juiced
    • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
    • 1 clove of garlic minced.
    • 1 tbsp oregano fresh, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup

    Instructions
     

    • If using pre-soaked nuts, add all dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
    • If using nut butter, just stir everything together in a little bowl or shake in a jar until creamy. Add more water, until it reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste.

    Notes

    This dressing keeps in the fridge for about 4 days.
    Calories: Approximately 100-120 calories per serving
    Protein: Approximately 1-2 grams per serving
    Fat: Approximately 9-11 grams per serving
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
    Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
    Sugars: Approximately 3-4 grams per serving

    Nutrition

    Calories: 110kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    110
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, Healthy, High Fibre, vegan, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Lots of crunchy nutritious veggies, some made into a slaw, charred corn and marinated, fried zucchini, quick marinated beets, orange slices and crunchy hazelnuts make this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad a super healthy feast in its own right. I’m using part of the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder from the day before, as a fantastic way to use up leftovers and speed up your meal prep. The Salad is brought together by a zingy Cuban inspired Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, using similar ingredients to the pulled pork marinade, to complement the flavours.

    Why You Want to Make This

    Nutrition

    Nutritionists would probably frown upon the pork shoulder, but the fact that we are using it more like a salad topping than main part means, you get your protein from it. All while feeding your body with lots of other nutrients including fibre and vitamins from the large selection of veggies I’m using here. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad Ingredients

    5-a-day in one bowl

    Well…7-8 rather really. I love using seasonal veg and end of summer is an amazing time for that. Though most of them you’d get in winter too. Red and white cabbage, carrots and fennel make a super flavourful coleslaw when mixed with the Hazelnut-Orange-Lime-Dressing. You could add onions and apple too if you’d like a little more sweetness. I often do. Charred sweetcorn and zucchini add interest and sweet crunch. Did I mention I love sweetness in my salads? Also, when I see fresh sweetcorn on the cob, I can absolutely never resist. It’s just too good. Super quick marinated beets lend earthiness and even more sweetness. The greens are provided by some Romaine lettuce. I’m topping the whole thing with sliced oranges and crunchy toasted hazelnuts, bringing all the flavours together, matching the dressing and Pork.

    What about carbs?

    Since I was planning already the tacos for the next day, I decided to make fresh sourdough whole wheat tortillas, which I had adapted from this and just use them as a side to the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad. The recipe is the same I used for my Healthy Chicken Tacos. If you don’t feel like making your own (I won’t judge) you could use any store bought tortillas or even just bread on the side. Or just skip the carbs, as the salad is super filling on its own.

    The Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Ingredients I’m using soaked hazelnuts here, which I then throw into my Nutribullet. You could use other nuts too. Cashews or Almonds make an even creamier dressing. The hazelnuts don’t get as creamy, but I loved the favour they added and due to the crunch from the coleslaw, the remaining texture in the dressing wasn’t really noticeable. If you don’t have a blender, you could just use any nut butter and add a bit more water. The flavour will change depending on what nuts you are using. Tahini would work too here. The nuts are blended with water, orange and lime zest and juice, cilantro and garlic, sweetened with a bit op maple syrup. This mimics the Cuban marinade I used for the pork and adds incredible flavour. It’s also much healthier than an oil based dressing, as your body gets fibre and healthy fats from it, it can readily use. I’m using very little of the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime on this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad, which gets mostly mixed into the coleslaw, as I found the other ingredients have so much flavour when eaten together, more dressing was just not needed. And if I can save calories without compromising on enjoyment, I sure will. If you leave out the salt, this dressing would be Nutritarian.

    Variations

    The fact that I’m using a lot of veggies here doesn’t mean you have to use them all. I just absolutely love the variety and my body is thanking me for it. But if you don’t like some of them or simply want less work, just leave out what you don’t want. Make it your own. And let me know what you changed. I’m very curious.

    The Process

    Tortillas

    If you are making your own tortillas to serve with the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad, start by making the dough. Just mix all the ingredients and knead (I used a stand mixer) until you have a smooth dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I made mine the evening before, to let the flavours develop and the sourdough do its thing over night. Once ready to fry, divide into about 12 pieces and roll them out thinly, while stacking between sheets of cling film or baking parchment. Pre-heat a pan to medium high heat (no oil) and fry your tortillas until bubbly and golden. This should take about 30 seconds on the first side. If yours fries much faster or slower, adjust the heat. Flip and fry for another 30-40 seconds. Keep them stacked on a plate, wrapped into a towel and topped by another plate. The moisture and heat will keep them soft and pliable while you prepare them all. Meal prep wise, I found these are ok re-warmed briefly in the microwave. But you could also keep them raw in the fridge between clingfilm and fry fresh when needed. They keep for about 3 days. After that the edges get a bit dry. You can also freeze the dough balls, to have a quick and delicious side whenever you like.

    Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    For the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, use: ½ cup hazelnuts. Soaked for 1h in hot water or overnight in cold. Drained. ¼ cup water, 1 Orange, zest, and juice, 2 limes, zest, and juice, 2 tbsp fresh cilantro and/or oregano, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 2 tbsp maple syrup, Salt and pepper to taste. Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Process If you are using pre-soaked nuts, add all dressing ingredients to a high speed blender (to get creamy dressing from nuts, it does have to be high speed. Nutribullet is a really good and affordable choice) and blend until creamy. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. The coleslaw needs a lot of seasoning, so go with a bit more than you’d think when tasting. Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

    Zucchini

    For the Zucchini, mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, zest and juice of 1/2 orange, chopped oregano (or dried) and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the zucchini slices to a container with tight fitting lid or a freezer bag and pour the marinade over. Close lid or bag and shake, to cover the slices with the marinade. Put to one side while you prepare the rest. When you have everything else prepared, heat a pan on medium high (I used cast iron, but any pan will do). Once hot, add the zucchini slices in one layer. You will have to do this in batches, so they get nice and brown and don’t just steam. Let them fry until brown on the edges, maybe even a little charred. Turn, let them fry for another few minutes, so both sides have some colour. These are lovely cold or warm.

    Coleslaw

    I use the slicing blade of my food processor, to make quick work of the red and white cabbage and the fennel. The switch to the grater for the carrot. If you don’t have one, thinly slice and grate by hand. In a big bowl, mix all of the above with ¾ of the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime and massage with your hands, so the cabbage breaks down a bit and absorbs all the flavour. Stick in the fridge to marry the flavours while you prepare the rest. This is even better the next day, so great for meal prep.

    Sweetcorn

    Rub the corn cobs with a little olive oil. Either use the same pan as you used for the zucchinis. Heat to fairly high heat, add to the pan. Let the corn cobs fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Let them cool a little. Once cool enough to handle, get a larger bowl, put a small bowl (like a ramekin) upside down into it. Stand your sweetcorn cob on the small bowl and, with a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob. This way they fall neatly into the bowl, instead of flying all over your work surface.

    Beets

    I’m using pre-steamed mini beets here I found a M&S, which was very handy. Most supermarkets have some sort of cooked and unmarinated beets these days. Use whatever you find. Or use pre-marinated if you prefer. If marinating yourself, mix the remaining tbsp maple syrup, juice and zest of ½ orange with salt and pepper and pour over the beets. These too get better by being given time for the flavours to marry. So, they work very well for meal prep.

    Oranges

    Using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of your last 2 oranges. Then, following the curve, slice of the skin and pith, leaving you just with the juice insides. Cut them into slices across.

    Pork

    If using the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder, slice off the crackling and fat and quickly heat them in the air fryer or oven, to re-crisp. Or give it a quick fry in the pan, skin side down. Pull apart the rest of the pork, using two forks.

    Assembly or your Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    In either one big bowl or single portion plates, lay out a bed of the romaine. Top with coleslaw and a bit of the remaining dressing. Surround the slaw with the remaining ingredients, top with the pork and hazelnuts, and, if using, a little BBQ sauce over the pork.I used my Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt.

    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Enjoy the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad with your warm tortillas, knowing you will make your body very happy.

    Meal Prep

    Due to the various parts in this that actually profit from marinating and resting, this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad is perfect for meal prep. Coleslaw, Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, beets, zucchinis, and tortillas do all particularly well when made the day before, as they flavours can mingle. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad Meal Prep

    For the rest: I tend to prepare everything on a weekend day, the store the separate parts in lidded containers in the fridge. That way, I just have to assemble and maybe briefly heat pulled pork and tortillas in the microwave and I have a fabulous workday meal ready in 5 minutes.

    Variations

    In the next few days, I will post a recipe for healthy pulled pork tacos, that uses exactly the same ingredients. Stay tuned. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Looking for a dessert to go with this? Protein Creme Brulee Two Ways (pick one or make both) gives you added protein and is easy to prepare the day before.

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?

    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

    Lots of crunchy nutritious veggies, some made into a slaw, make this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad A super healthy feast in its own right. I’m using part of the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder from the day before, as a fantastic way to use up leftovers and speed up your meal prep. The Salad is brought together by a zingy Cuban inspired Hazelnut-Orange-Lime-Dressing, using similar ingredients to the pulled pork marinade, to complement the flavours.
    Prep Time 1 hour
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Course Dinner, Dressing, Main Course, Salad
    Cuisine American, Fusion
    Servings 8
    Calories 370 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    Sourdough Whole Wheat Tortillas

    • ½ cup sourdough or discard
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ¼ whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup hot water or more, if needed
    • cup shortening or vegetable oil
    • 1 ½ tsp salt

    Salad with Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing:

    • ½ cup hazelnuts. Soaked for 1h in hot water or overnight in cold. Drained.
    • ¼ cup water
    • 2 limes zest, and juice
    • 4 oranges 3 zested and juiced. Divided.
    • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
    • 2 cloves of garlic minced. Divided
    • 1 tbsp oregano fresh, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
    • 3 tbsp maple syrup divided
    • 1 lb pulled pork https://forthepleasureofeating.com/slow-roasted-cuban-pork-shoulder/
    • ¼ red cabbage stalk removed, shredded thinly
    • ¼ white cabbage stalk removed, shredded thinly
    • 2 carrots roughly grated
    • 1 fennel bulb Inner stalk removed, finely shredded across the grain
    • 2 corn on the cob leaves and silk removed
    • 2 zucchinis sliced thinly lengthwise
    • 1 head Romaine lettuce shredded to your preferred size
    • ½ lb 1 pack steamed mini beets
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp oregano fresh, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
    • ½ cup hazelnuts toasted in the oven for 8min, the roughly chopped
    • BBQ Sauce optional
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions
     

    Instructions:

      Tortillas:

      • If you are making your own tortillas, start by making the dough. Just mix all the ingredients and knead (I used a stand mixer) until you have a smooth dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I made mine the evening before, to let the flavours develop and the sourdough do its thing over night.
      • Once ready to fry, divide into about 12 pieces and roll them out thinly, while stacking between sheets of cling film or baking parchment.
      • Pre-heat a pan to medium high heat (no oil) and fry your tortillas until bubbly and golden. This should take about 30 seconds on the first side. If yours fries much faster or slower, adjust the heat.
      • Flip and fry for another 30-40 seconds.
      • Keep them stacked on a plate, wrapped into a towel and topped by another plate. The moisture and heat will keep them soft and pliable while you prepare them all.

      Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing:

      • If using pre-soaked nuts, add all dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Set aside.

      Zucchini:

      • Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, zest and juice of 1/2 orange, chopped oregano (or dried), and minced garlic for the zucchini marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini slices to a container with a tight-fitting lid or a freezer bag and pour the marinade over them. Close the lid or bag and shake to coat the slices. Set aside.
      • When ready, heat a pan on medium-high heat, add the zucchini slices in one layer, and fry until browned on the edges. Turn and fry for another few minutes until both sides have some colour. These can be served warm or cold.

      Coleslaw:

      • Use a food processor with a slicing blade for red and white cabbage and fennel, and a grater for the carrot.
      • Alternatively, thinly slice and grate by hand. In a large bowl, combine the shredded red cabbage, white cabbage, grated carrots, and finely shredded fennel.
      • Add ¾ of the hazelnut dressing to the bowl and massage the coleslaw with your hands until the cabbage softens and absorbs the flavour. Refrigerate the coleslaw to allow the flavours to meld.

      Sweetcorn:

      • Rub the corn cobs with a little olive oil. Heat a pan over fairly high heat, add the corn cobs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Let them cool.
      • Once cool enough to handle, slice the kernels from the cob into a larger bowl.

      Beets:

      • Use pre-steamed mini beets or marinate them by mixing 1 tbsp maple syrup, juice and zest of ½ orange, salt, and pepper.
      • Let them sit to enhance the flavours.

      Oranges:

      • Cut off the top and bottom of your last 2 oranges. Then, following the curve, slice off the skin and pith, leaving you just with the juicy insides.
      • Cut them into slices across.

      Pork:

      • If using Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder, slice off the crackling and fat, and re-crisp them in the air fryer, oven, or a pan.
      • Pull apart the rest of the pork using two forks.

      Assembly:

      • In a large serving bowl or on individual plates, create a bed of shredded Romaine lettuce. Top the lettuce with the coleslaw and drizzle with some of the remaining hazelnut dressing.
      • Arrange the zucchini, sweetcorn kernels, beets, and orange slices around the coleslaw. Place the pulled pork on top and sprinkle with the toasted, chopped hazelnuts.
      • Optionally, drizzle a little BBQ sauce over the pork.
      • Serve and enjoy your Cuban Pulled Pork Salad!

      Notes

      Nutrition for salad with dressing
      8 portions
      Calories: Approximately 350-400 calories per serving
      Protein: Approximately 10-15 grams per serving
      Fat: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving
      Carbohydrates: Approximately 30-40 grams per serving
      Fiber: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
      Sugars: Approximately 10-15 grams per serving
      Sourdough Whole Wheat Tortilla (Per Serving. Makes 12):
      Calories: Approximately 140-160 calories per serving
      Protein: Approximately 3-4 grams per serving
      Fat: Approximately 4-5 grams per serving
      Carbohydrates: Approximately 24-26 grams per serving
      Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
      Sugars: Approximately 0-1 gram per serving
      Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing (Per Serving. 8 servings):
      Calories: Approximately 100-120 calories per serving
      Protein: Approximately 1-2 grams per serving
      Fat: Approximately 9-11 grams per serving
      Carbohydrates: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
      Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
      Sugars: Approximately 3-4 grams per serving

      Nutrition

      Calories: 370kcal
      Nutrition Facts
      Cuban Pulled Pork Salad
      Amount per Serving
      Calories
      370
      % Daily Value*
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
      Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, Protein
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      A delicious take on the theme, this Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt comes with layers of fruity, sweet, tangy and malty flavours, created by the use of peaches in place of the usual cups of ketchup, while adding smoky malt notes. There is still a bit of ketchup in there, to create the familiar profile of BBQ sauce, but the use of sweet fruit allows us to reduce the refined sugar quite a bit, while lending their summery taste.

      Why You Want to Make This

      I was looking for Peach BBQ Sauce when I stumbled over this fantastic recipe from “A Family Feast”. The layering of flavours here is amazing and I absolutely loved the idea of whiskey in the sauce.

      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      Single Malt

      But, living in Europe, I do have a thing for Single Malts. So, I used Talisker here, one of my favourites. Of course, if you read a few of my posts, like my Rye Sourdough Discard Rolls or my German Sourdough Rye Beer Dutch Oven Bread, you probably noticed that I really love malt flavour, so that choice was very obvious to me.

      Less refined sugar

      Using Peaches instead of Ketchup mostly means, that we are using a lot less refined sugar and of course far less process ingredients. But it adds fibre and vitamins of fresh fruit.
      Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t health food as such, there is still a lot of sweetness, but it’s just that bit better for you than ready made ketchup. Which, yes, has tomatoes. In some rather unrecognizable form. But there really isn’t much nutrition left in it. While the peaches for the Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt get only cooked briefly, pureed, then passed through a sieve. Which leaves most of the goodness intact.

      Sweeteners

      A mix of brown sugar, honey and especially molasses adds a complex sweetness you wouldn’t get from sugar alone.

      Added Flavour

      There is a list of ingredients you probably already have at home like mustard, cider and balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and a bit of chili powder. However, the one ingredient that makes this Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt sing is the liquid smoke, which is these days available in some good supermarkets. I think I got mine at Fallon& Byrne in Dublin a while ago. One bottle will last you years probably and adds that bit of smoky flavour to a million dishes.

      The Process

      1. This is a quick one. Sweat the chopped onion in the olive or grapeseed oil on medium heat until soft and translucent.
      2. Add the single malt and let it boil down a little, so the alcohol evaporates, and you are left with the concentrated flavour.
      3. Add the chopped peaches and 1 cup of water. Let them boil for about 10min until soft.
      4. At this point you’ll need a blender or food processor. Add your peach-onion mix. Close the lid, but add a towel over the top. Some blenders have the bad habit of popping the lid off when filled with hot ingredients and you don’t want to be burned but peach splatters.
      5. Blend at high speed until smooth. Pour through a sieve back into your pot, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon, to push all the goodness through and mainly keep the peach skins back in the sieve. Discard the sieve contents.
      6. Add the remaining ingredients to your pot and switch the heat back on. Let it bubble away for about 5-10 minutes, until you have a sauce that coats the back of your spoon.
      7. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
      8. Fill into jars that you have washed thoroughly with hot water. This Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt keeps in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.

       

      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      Uses

      I have eaten this with my Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder in its many incarnations and absolutely loved it.
      It’s equally good as dip for chips or roasted potatoes or slathered on a sandwich. Or of course for spareribs. Or, as the name says, for anything BBQ.

      Let me Know What You Think.

      Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
      Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
      What other recipes would you like to see?

      If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt

      A delicious take on the theme, this Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt comes with layers of fruity, sweet, tangy and malty flavours, created by the use of peaches in place of the usual cups of ketchup. There is still a bit in there, to create the familiar profile of BBQ sauce, but the use of sweet fruit allows us to reduce the sugar quite a bit, while lending their summery taste.
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Cook Time 20 minutes
      Total Time 35 minutes
      Course condiment, Dressing, Ingredient, Side Dish
      Cuisine American
      Servings 3 cups
      Calories 55 kcal

      Equipment

      • Blender or Food Processor

      Ingredients
        

      • 1 onion finely chopped
      • 2 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
      • ¼ single malt whiskey
      • 1 lb fresh peaches pitted and chopped roughly
      • 1 ½ cups water
      • ¼ cup brown sugar use more if you like it very sweet
      • 2 tbsp molasses
      • 2 tbsp honey
      • 2 tbsp tomato paste
      • ¼ cup ketchup
      • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
      • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
      • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
      • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
      • ½ tsp kosher salt
      • ½ tsp black pepper
      • ½ tsp dry mustard
      • ½ tsp liquid smoke
      • ½ tsp ancho chili powder

      Instructions
       

      • This is a quick one. Sweat the chopped onion in the olive or grapeseed oil on medium heat until soft and translucent.
      • Add the single malt and let it boil down a little, so the alcohol evaporates, and you are left with the concentrated flavour.
      • Add the chopped peaches and 1 cup of water. Let them boil for about 10min until soft.
      • At this point you’ll need a blender or food processor. Add your peach-onion mix. Close the lid, but add a towel over the top. Some blenders have the bad habit of popping the lid off when filled with hot ingredients and you don’t want to be burned but peach splatters.
      • Blend at high speed until smooth. Pour through a sieve back into your pot, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon, to push all the goodness through and mainly keep the peach skins back in the sieve. Discard the sieve contents.
      • Add the remaining ingredients to your pot and switch the heat back on. Let it bubble away for about 5-10 minutes, until you have a sauce that coats the back of your spoon.
      • Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
      • Fill into jars that you have washed thoroughly with hot water. This Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt keeps in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.

      Notes

      Barbecue Sauce (Per Serving):
      Calories: Approximately 50-60 calories per serving
      Protein: Approximately 0-1 gram per serving
      Fat: Approximately 1-2 grams per serving
      Carbohydrates: Approximately 10-12 grams per serving
      Fiber: Approximately 0-1 gram per serving
      Sugars: Approximately 8-10 grams per serving

      Nutrition

      Calories: 55kcal
      Nutrition Facts
      Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt
      Amount per Serving
      Calories
      55
      % Daily Value*
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
      Keyword Easy, Vegetarian
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken

      Lots of layers of flavour make this Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken probably my favourite summer salad of the year. Coconut-Lime-Mango dressing is used both as marinade for the super flavourful chicken and dressing for the salad. Which comes in form of coleslaw and added toppings to complete the tropical profile. Lentils boiled in aromatic broth, finished with more lime and coconut add more protein and fibre, plus a delicious bite. Peppers and fresh mango lend sweetness and absolutely addictive maple-lime baked coconut chips crown the whole thing.

      The Ingredients

      My Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken came into being because a friend asked me for a salad with lentils and showed me a video with lentils and mango. My mind went straight to creamy coconut and coconut chips and then started to sing “Put the lime in the coconut” and we went from there.

      This is for Esther, from one of my favourite places in Ireland, the Fossey Mountains Springs Ranch. The place where you can get horse cuddles from the nicest and curious horses I have ever met, Western Riding lessons and trails, Natural Horsemanship lessons and the always present tea and chats with amazing people. Oh and not to forget Archery, knife and axe throwing, roping and so many things more.

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken Ingredients

      Of course, for my weekly salad I wanted as many veggies and nutrients as I could squeeze into it, but with low calories for the dressing ideally. Which the Mango-Coconut-Lime dressing delivers perfectly.
      Now I know this looks like a long list, but most are store cupboard ingredients and then all the veggies you need to cover your 5-a-day and then some. So, you basically get the loose-weight-and-be-healthy package all in one incredible salad for your weekly meal prep.

      The Process

      To get each ingredient taste it’s very best, we need to prepare them separately and add flavour to each layer. This gives you the epic salad you deserve and makes it so much easier to stick to your meal plan.

      The chicken is marinated for extra flavour and was inspired by this recipe from “Platings + Pairings

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken - Marinade/dressing ingredients

      Some of the veggies are mixed into a quick coconut lime slaw and some get added on top, so they don’t lose their crunch and distinctive taste. Part of the same marinade/dressing we made for the chicken is used for it.

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken Lentil ingredients

      The Lentils are cooked in broth and then seasoned with coconut, lime and a bit of fish sauce and chili sauce (if you like).

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken - Coconut chips ingredients

      The coconut chips get a quick coating of maple and take a quick roast in the oven to get super crispy.

      From there it’s just frying the chicken and assembly and, if you made enough, you have amazing salad for several days. Or just one incredible meal for the family that no one will be able to resist.

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken Meal Prep

      Meal Prep

      I keep each of the parts of the Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken in a separate meal prep container in the fridge and only layer them when I’m ready to eat. Except the coleslaw, which we really want to marinade in the dressing.
      That way you have fresh and crunchy salad every day that you can enjoy, without any soggy leaves.

      For the chicken: While I fry it on day 1, I usually re-heat it together with the lentils for a minute or two in the microwave, as those 2 ingredients taste best warm.

      The Coconut chips…you might want to double, even though the amount given makes more than you need for the salad topping. But they are incredibly delicious as snack.

      From there, 5min of assembly, and your Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken is done.

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken
      And for dessert? Try my Sourdough Chocolate Banana Bread with Protein.

      Looking for a meat free salad? How about Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goat Cheese?

      Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
      Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
      What other recipes would you like to see?

      If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot. 🙂

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken

      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken

      Lots of layers of flavour make this Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken probably my favourite summer salad of the year. Coconut-Lime-Mango dressing is used both as marinade for the super flavourful chicken and dressing for the salad. Which comes in form of coleslaw and added toppings to complete the tropical profile. Lentils boiled in aromatic broth, finished with more lime and coconut add more protein and fibre, plus a delicious bite. Peppers and fresh mango lend sweetness and absolutely addictive maple-lime baked coconut chips crown the whole thing.
      Prep Time 1 hour
      Cook Time 30 minutes
      Marinading time 1 hour
      Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
      Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
      Cuisine Fusion
      Servings 6
      Calories 450 kcal

      Ingredients
        

      • 4 Chicken Breasts
      • 1 cup coconut milk from a can of full fat coconut milk.
      • 2 cups fresh Mango cubed
      • 5 limes zested and juiced + juice from the 2 limes of coconut chips if needed
      • 3 tbsp fish sauce
      • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
      • 4 cloves garlic 3 smashed, 1 chopped
      • 2 in piece fresh ginger grated (or 1 tsp powder)
      • 1 tbsp brown sugar
      • 2 tsp kosher salt
      • 1 cup black Lentils
      • 2 cups vegetable broth
      • ¼ white cabbage - shredded
      • ¼ red cabbage or one head of either – shredded
      • 3 carrots – shredded
      • 1 red onion – thinly sliced
      • 1 can sweetcorn or fresh
      • 2 red peppers – thinly sliced
      • 1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
      • 1 bag Baby leaves
      • 2 cups coconut chips makes more than you’ll need, but less than you’ll want
      • 2 tbsp maple syrup

      Instructions
       

      • Start by zesting all 5 limes. Zest 1 lime into a bowl and set aside for the lentils. Zest 2 limes into a blender or food processor for the dressing/marinade. Zest the remaining 2 limes into another bowl for the coconut chips.
      • For the Mango Coconut Lime Dressing/Marinade:
      • In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of chopped mango, the zest of 2 limes, juice of 2-4 limes (adjust to taste), fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, smashed garlic cloves, half of the grated ginger, brown sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt (or adjust to taste). If desired, add cilantro. Blend until smooth.
      • Place the chicken breasts in a freezer bag and add 1 cup of the prepared dressing/marinade. Seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results. Reserve the remaining dressing for the salad.
      • For the Lentils:
        In a saucepan, gently fry the remaining half of the grated ginger and 1 clove of chopped garlic until soft.
      • Wash the black lentils and add them to the saucepan along with the vegetable broth. Cook the lentils in the broth for 15-20 minutes or until they become tender.
      • Stir in the zest of 1 lime, juice from 2 limes, fish sauce (to taste), sweet chili sauce (to taste), and the remaining coconut milk from the can. Warm the mixture through and let it thicken to your desired consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
      • For the Coconut Lime Slaw:
      • In a large bowl, mix together the shredded red and white cabbage, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red onion, and sweetcorn. Add half of the remaining dressing and refrigerate to allow the flavours to meld.
      • For the Caramelized Coconut Chips:
      • Preheat your oven to 165°C (325°F).
      • In a bowl, combine the coconut chips, maple syrup, lime zest, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
      • Spread the coated coconut chips on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Stir the chips and then bake for an additional 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool; they will crisp up as they cool.
      • For the Chicken preheat a frying pan, griddle pan, or barbecue to medium-high heat.
      • Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard the marinade.
      • Fry the chicken breasts for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden and cooked through in the middle. If unsure, cut one piece to check for doneness.
      • Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add any chicken juices to the salad dressing for extra flavour.
      • To Serve:
        On each plate, create a bed of baby leaves and drizzle with a bit of the remaining dressing. Mix thoroughly.
      • Top the salad with the Mango Lime Slaw, chicken, thinly sliced red peppers, cooked lentils, chopped remaining mango, and caramelized coconut chips.
      • If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with more dressing according to your taste.

      Notes

      Meal Prep:
      Kept in separate airtight containers, this salad keeps fresh in the fridge for about 4 days.
      Calories: Approximately 400-500 calories
      Fat: Approximately 10-15 grams
      Protein: Approximately 20-25 grams
      Carbohydrates: Approximately 50-60 grams
      Sugar: Approximately 10-15 grams

      Nutrition

      Calories: 450kcal
      Nutrition Facts
      Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken
      Amount per Serving
      Calories
      450
      % Daily Value*
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
      Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Protein, Low Calorie, Protein
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!