Chicken & kale salad with peanut dressing

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When visiting San Francisco last month, I had one hell of a kale salad that was served with roast chicken and a peanut dressing. Maybe it’s because I'd spent all day walking around the city and my then tired and hungry state would have had me appreciating any chair in any restaurant with anything edible in front of me, but… I have to admit this simple salad was one of the best meals I had during our four week trip to America. 

Now I’m home and eager to recreate the recipe adding a few extras like the carrot ribbons for sweetness, red cabbage for crunch and ginger to the dressing for more heat. I can see this raw salad becoming a new lunchtime favourite and as it’s made with hardy vegetables, easily keeps in the fridge for a few days.

Ingredients, serves two

For the salad
8-10 stems kale with stems removed and leaves roughly torn
1 large carrot, shredded into ribbons using a potato peeler
1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, skins removed
1 free range organic chicken breast
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper

For the dressing:
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lime juice
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup of water

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. Use the melted coconut oil to grease a baking dish and also to coat the chicken. Season with salt and pepper then cover the chicken with baking parchment tucking the edges into the sides of the pan so it's snug around the chicken. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Place the kale in a large bowl and pour over the lemon juice. Using your hands, massage the kale for a few minutes so it becomes more tender. Add the carrot ribbons, sliced cabbage and spring onions to the bowl - gently mix with the kale.

Once the chicken is cooked leave it to cool slightly before slicing into thin strips, then add to the salad bowl.

To make the dressing simply place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with fresh coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds.

The recipe makes a good amount of dressing which keeps well in the fridge for up to a week if not all used on the salad.