I make various versions of this Spicy Peanut-Lime Grilled Chicken Salad a lot in the summer. Especially since, chicken and peanut butter are two of the few higher protein foods my daughter will eat. She has been on a chicken kick lately, and selected chicken on her “talker” (tablet used as a communication device), along with several exclamations of “eat”, which is huge for her as she struggles with both autism and apraxia.
I had a small batch of this chicken marinating already, so I popped them on the grill while she played on her swing set. The chicken was ready soon, which was a good thing because I was serenaded by another cluster of “eat”s from my daughter. I’m guessing, she didn’t eat much at school that day, and was extra hungry.
We sat down to an early dinner. As Little Foodie started eating her chicken she made a face and was obviously unhappy. That is when I realized, I had made this marinate intending to eat it for lunch while she was at school and add the rest to noodles for her. It was at full spiciness… which with me can be pretty spicy. Boy, did I feel like a heel.
I took her chicken scraped off most of the dressing and quickly popped it in a pan with some sweet Asian dressing, simmered it a minute, then re-plated. She deemed this acceptable and ate one of the tenders. All was well, or so I thought. After putting a couple items away, I went back to the dining table. I was greeted by a giggling child, and a chickenless salad… while the remainder of the reworked chicken sat neglected.
Apparently, the little stinker handles the heat just fine when the chicken comes off mommy’s plate.
- 1 lb. chicken tenders or sliced chicken breast
- salad greens of choice (arugula shown)
- salad vegetables of choice (tomatoes, cucumber, red onion & carrots all go nicely with this dressing)
- ½ cup fresh ground peanut butter (or unsalted natural style jarred - only ingredient should be peanuts)
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger (you will need more if using fresh)
- ½ tsp cayenne* (omit or reduce for children and those who can't take the heat)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Whisk together dressing/marinade ingredients.
- Reserve half to use as dressing, marinate chicken in other half (allow or grill immediately if preferred)
- Preheat grill. Reduce to medium, add chicken. Turn after about 5 minutes, should cook through in just a couple more minutes.
- Serve over salad, with reserved dressing.*
*if dressing has been refrigerated, you will need to bring it back up to room temperature for serving.