Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad

Asian-inspired sweet-and-tangy chicken and broccoli salad, topped with apricots and cashews. A quick and easy recipe, perfect for weeknight dinners.

Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad with apricots and cashews

Hey, hiya! The Ninj's move to Kentucky is complete.

Well, let me clarify. Things completed are the the physical moving of goods from Vermont to Kentucky in a big-ass tractor trailer and my arriving in Kentucky by pulling off a spectacular pre-murder OJ Simpson run in high-heeled flip-flops through three concourses of the Charlotte airport to avoid (just barely) missing my flight, which had been dramatically re-routed out of my way by the good folks (kidding, really, they're asshats) at American Airlines who bumped me from my original flight to Louisville from Chicago in order to give my seat to a standby "medallion" passenger (oh no, I'm not bitter -- I love being treated like baggage by people who refuse to look you in the eye or answer your questions directly), thus arriving in Kentucky -- sweaty, stressed and sans luggage -- about 20 minutes ahead of my movers.

But I made it. And then so did our stuff (oy, the stuff -- so much stuff, even after giving so much of it away before we left Vermont). So, I am currently knee-deep in cardboard moving boxes and endless reams of packing paper on this end.

More than knee-deep, actually.  Let me show you my new kitchen.

GAAAAAHHHHH!! Where are the bloody forks????

And oy, all the packing paper. Even though Mr. Ninj claims I've too willingly embraced my inner hoarder, I'm saving, as I have after every move, all the moving boxes and as much packing paper as I can, but even I this time stopped at 36 contractor-sized garbage bags stuffed with paper. Thirty-bloody-six, people!

Now, I appreciate the care that packers take with my belongings, really. Nothing arrived broken, which does seem like a miracle. But -- jeez louise, guys -- not everything needs to be triple wrapped. Case in point: Was someone really worried that the bag of unpopped popcorn kernels might not make the trip safely?

All this whining and moaning is my way of explaining why in the upcoming weeks I'll probably be leaning heavily on some super-fast, super-easy recipes, like this Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad with a sweet and tangy dressing. The whole salad comes together in a snap -- perfect for quick weeknight dinners. I was tempted to call it a "no-cook meal" but, to be fair, you do have to cook the chicken and steam the broccoli at some point.

Regardless, it is fast, easy and able to be prepared even if you don't know which box contains all your bloody forks.

But enough about me: have you experienced the joy of a large-scale move? What's your best moving story? The Ninj wants to know.

Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad with apricots and cashews

Chicken and Broccoli Salad with Apricots and Cashews

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

6 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces and steamed
1/3 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews
1 cup cooked and diced chicken breast

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients (vinegar through pepper flakes) to create the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat.
-- print recipe --


  1. Hahaha...I love that you called the people at American Airlines "asshats." Glad to hear you finally made it to KY. Looks like you have just a couple of boxes left to unpack!

    1. In my mind, I was calling them much worse, David. ;-)

  2. That was an amazing sentence! It's a testament to ... something ... that you not only cooked something but you also took a picture of it. Go Ninj!

    I have a I want to know why fish sauce is called that? It kind of creeps me out.

    1. Rest easy -- "fish sauce is extracted from the fermentation of fish with sea salt" -- it's like pickles. :-)

  3. Rotted fish pickles, you mean. Which is actually worse than I what I had thought. Of course, I already have some, so I'll use it regardless. I'll just try not to think about.