Spicy Sweet Cabbage Salad

It feels good to be back home!  Matt and I are both pretty run down after a hectic couple of days of coast to coast flights and a busy weekend with my mom mourning the death and celebrating the life of my grandmother.  Phew!

After a few more nights of sleep, I'm hoping we'll all be nice and recovered and back to normal.  I'm planning to cook up a big batch of bone broth this week to help that process along as well.

Being home means getting back in the kitchen and purging my poofy body of all the crud that I ate while trying to process everything that's been going on the past few months.  I was happy to get cooking today, even if it was all simple and quick.  All the better!

These guys were pretty happy to see me back at the cutting board as well...

After enjoying the brisk 44 degree near-fall weather back in New England, I was saddened and shocked to wake up to 103 degree sunshine blazing outside my window.  Cool, crisp, and refreshing was the only thing I could possibly want to make for dinner.  A few weeks back, I did a post about making soba.  I included a Paleo version of the recipe and decided to start with that and make a few more tweaks for the evening's dinner.

Paleo Otsu - Modified. Again.

zest of 1 lemon
1" cube of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 T. honey
fresh squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 c. coconut aminos
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. toasted sesame oil

Combine lemon zest, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and rice vinegar in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add honey, lemon juice, and coconut aminos.  Blend.  Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil until all ingredients are well combined.

1 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 carrots, shredded
3 green onions - whites and greens, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

In a large salad bowl, combine all the vegetable and herb ingredients and toss well.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T. coconut oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. Red Boat Fish Sauce

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.  While pan is heating, chop chicken thighs into small bite-sized strips and chunks.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Brown chicken thigh pieces over medium-high heat.  Halfway through cooking, add fish sauce to pan and stir to combine with chicken.  Continue browning chicken until cooked through.  Once the chicken is completely cooked, allow to cool.

In the large salad bowl with all the vegetables, add the cooled browned chicken thighs.  Drizzle the sauce over the meat and vegetables and toss until everything is evenly coated.  Serve with toasted sesame seeds and additional chopped cilantro as garnish.

A perfect refresher for what seems to be the never-ending summer and our first nights getting back in the groove!

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