Let me tell you about my first week of 2018. Well, first we have to go back to last year.
Dec. 31st, 2017.
I wake up with a pain in my gut at about 1 in the morning. I traipse into the bathroom and stay there for approximately an hour and a half. I was having almost the worst case of food poisoning or stomach flu I had ever had. At around 5:30 in the morning, I wake Rob up and have him take me to the doctor. Of course, with it being New Year’s Eve and a Sunday, no doctor was open. The hospital it was.
Thankfully nobody was there. We were in and out in a little under 2 hours. One bag of fluids, a couple of shots of something, and I was as good as new—well, sort of. Rob, being the exceptional husband that he is, took me home then went off to buy ginger ale, saltines, and pick up my new prescriptions. I woke up the next day feeling much better.
I cooked up a few things for the week and then went to sleep as normal. I woke up that evening to go to work with a funk in my throat. It felt like it was closing in on itself.
What now? I thought to myself. Oh well. I’ll just scurry on to work. That wasn’t the best idea ever.
The day went on and the worse I felt. My head just felt sick. You know the feeling? Fatigue, malaise, and sick. It got progressively harder and harder to swallow. My right lymph node started to swell up.
I call in sick for Wednesday. I’m at my worst. I sleep for 18 hours straight in a fever dream of sorts. I peak at 103.
January 3rd, 2018.
I make it to my actual doctor. Strep, they say. My old archnemesis. I’ve probably had strep more times in my life than I can count. My senior year in high school I had it TWICE in two weeks. I almost break down in the pharmacy when they say my insurance isn’t active. I come real close to blaming the clumsy pharmacy tech who has messed up stuff numerous times before. I figure it out—in my delirious state I was using an old card. I get my medicine and get out. For some weird reason I’m craving a cheeseburger. And ice cream.
I get both. I regret nothing. Resolutions be damned. 2018 had already cursed me from the beginning.
It’s January 5th now and I’m finally feeling back to old sorts. Steroids are a gift from god, and even though my antibiotics are big enough to choke a horse, they’re lovely little miracles. I’m also thanking my lucky stars I didn’t get the flu—this is now year 29 of no flu for me. That pesky little virus has been plaguing the newsroom, though.
I’m not really sure how to segway into food after telling you all about my nasty illnesses, so I guess we’ll just dive right in. This was one of the last things I was able to make before the worst week of 2018 began. I’m all for a new salad idea, and this one hit the mark. I like my dressings a little sweeter and tangier—this one was more just soy sauce than anything—but it still tastes pretty darn good.
If you’re kicking off the new year with a Whole 30 or a paleo diet, this salad is perfect for you. All you have to do is sub the soy for coconut aminos, and take out the little bit of sugar I added to the dressing (maybe use a mashed up date?). Boom. Perfection. The crispy salad was really refreshing—for those bitterly cold temperatures we had all week. I know, salad is a little strange in the winter, but sometimes you really just need something green, raw, and light. Soups can weigh heavy on the old soul during the winter times.
Make sure you wash off your veggies real good right now, too. There’s an e. Coli outbreak traveling around the U.S., and even though it’s been mainly linked to Romaine and leafy greens, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Green onions tend to harbor the nasty bacteria (remember the Taco Bell outbreak years ago? There’s a reason they don’t put them on top of the fiesta potatoes anymore), so feel free to take those out. As long as you’ve got tender chicken, crisp cabbage, carrots, and Mandarin oranges, this salad will be good to go.
Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad
A cripsy, Asian-inspired chopped salad with oranges, chicken, and carrots.
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 TBS. avocado oil
- 1 TBS. sesame oil
- 2 TBS. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1.5 TBS. brown sugar.
- salt & pepper
For the salad:
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1 head purple cabbage, shredded
- 3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 (14.5 oz) can Mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 3 TBS. sesame seeds
- In a resealable bowl, combine dressing ingredients.
- Place cubed chicken into a resealable bag and drizzle 3 tablespoons of the dressing over it. Seal and shake until coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add chicken. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes on both sides. Remove to a plate.
- In a large bowl, toss green onions, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro. Add oranges, chicken and sesame seeds and gently toss. Drizzle dressing on individual servings to keep salad from getting soggy. Can refrigerate up to 2 days.
Place cubed chicken into a resealable bag and drizzle 3 tablespoons of the dressing over it. Seal and shake until coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Heat a pan over medium heat and add chicken. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes on both sides. Remove to a plate.
In a large bowl, toss green onions, cabbage, carrots and cilantro.