Asian Grilled Chicken Salad – Three ways

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Something we all tend to struggle with now and again is trying to get out of a food rut.  Trying to find new ways to enjoy the foods we already love but eat way too often.  Keeping the same flavors you already enjoy, but changing the way they’re presented is an excellent way to add variety to your menu.

This Asian Grilled Chicken Salad recipe from Manitoba Chicken Producers is a great base for spinning off other recipes.  It serves 4-6 people, so you have the option of serving it family-style for dinner or splitting it up into containers for lunches. You could also make a smaller portion of the salad and use the remaining ingredients to make one of the three completely new meals that I’m sharing today. These three meals use all the same ingredients, along with a few extras:

  • Cashew Chicken Lettuce wraps
  • Asian Chicken Flatbread
  • Chicken Summer Rolls
Photo courtesy of Manitoba Chicken Producers

Why is this a good idea?

If you already have the ingredients on hand, you may as well use them to their full potential. This prevents food waste and allows for flexibility and variety on your menu.  Once you have already purchased some of these ingredients, for example the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce, you’re going to have more than enough to use in a few more meals, so you’re going to want some ideas to mix it up a bit. Also, if you make one of these recipes for dinner, you may want to use up the remaining ingredients to make a few lunches for the rest of the week.

Prep strategies

If your life is busy like mine is, you’re going to want to save every minute you can in the kitchen, so you can have more time for relaxing and spending time with your family.  There are many ways you can save time executing this dish. Here are a few:

  • Batch cook your chicken
    • If you plan on using these ingredients in the same week in different ways, grill up all your chicken at the same time.  Slice it up and it’s ready to go for the salad, the summer roll, the flatbread and the lettuce wraps. If it isn’t a nice day, baking the chicken works just fine. Whichever cooking method you choose, be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. This chart will help you ensure your chicken is perfectly cooked.
  • Chop all your veggies at the same time
    • This will be especially helpful if you plan on using them in more than one meal in the same week.
  • Double the sauce, as needed.
    • Depending on which of the four recipes you will be making, double up the sauce if necessary. This will save you from having to make a second batch later.

Did you know that you should only store cooked chicken for three to four days in the fridge?

This guide is helpful for storing all cuts of chicken in your fridge and freezer.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I used romaine hearts for these because I love the crunch, but you could definitely use any larger leaf lettuce that could contain the filling. If you don’t have cashews, peanuts would be an excellent substitution.

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Asian Chicken Flatbread

chicken flatbread

This recipe is basically a salad on a pizza, minus the cheese. You will be topping it with the ingredients that can be served warm before popping it in the oven, then dressing it with a “salad” of julienned veggies, herbs and a squeeze of lime, once it comes out of the oven.

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Chicken Summer Rolls

These Chicken Summer Rolls make a great lunch or appetizer. They are a bit more time-consuming to prepare than the other recipes, so you’ve been warned! You can use any amount of the sliced veggies for these rolls and you don’t really have to measure, which I love. If you don’t have some of the listed vegetables on hand, you could also try avocado and cucumber as substitutes.

These rolls tend to stick together when stored in the fridge, so it’s a good idea to either individually wrap them in plastic wrap, or a greener option is to place a lettuce or cabbage leaf between each roll when storing them in a container.

Jump to Recipe

Chicken is versatile and nutritious

Chicken is an excellent ingredient for deconstructing and reconstructing because it is so versatile. If you’re looking for other ways to reconstruct and make the most out of the ingredients you buy, check out this post called Greek Chicken – Three Ways or head to manitobachicken.ca for more recipes using Manitoba chicken so you can try some reconstructing on your own!

Share your creations with us by tagging @toobusylivin204 and @manitobachicken on Instagram.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These fresh lettuce wraps make a great lunch or dinner.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword chicken, lettuce wrap
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author SL

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup baby corn, sliced in circles
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 romaine hearts
  • 1 lime

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Grill or pan fry chicken breasts until thermometer reads 170F (about 5-7 minutes per side).

  2. While chicken is cooling, chop the corn, red pepper, mint and cilantro.

  3. Wash and dry romaine leaves, keeping them whole.

  4. Combine sauce ingredients and stir.

  5. Chop chicken.

  6. Heat chicken, red pepper and corn in the frying pan until warm, about 3 minutes.

  7. Add sauce and stir until combined and heated through.

  8. Transfer to a bowl and top with a squeeze of lime, mint, cilantro and cashews.

  9. Serve in romaine leaves.

Asian Chicken Flatbread

A fresh take on a pizza, this flatbread makes a great lunch for one or cut it in triangles for an easy appetizer.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword asian, chicken, flatbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 flatbread

Ingredients

  • 1 naan
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken , sliced
  • 1/4 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup snow peas, julienned
  • 1/4 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Grill or pan fry chicken breasts until thermometer reads 170F (about 5-7 minutes per side).

  2. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes, then slice thinly.

  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  4. Combine sauce ingredients and spread on pizza.

  5. Top with sliced chicken and red pepper.

  6. Place in the oven until heated through and crust is lightly browned. (About 5-7 minutes. )

  7. Remove from oven and top with snow peas, carrots, cashews, mint and cilantro.

  8. Finish with a squeeze of lime.

Chicken Summer Rolls

These Chicken Summer Rolls make a great appetizer or lunch and pack a lot of flavor.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword chicken, rice paper, summer roll
Servings 6 rolls
Author SL

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 red pepper, julienned
  • 6 baby corn cobs, julienned
  • 1 handful snow peas, julienned
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups thin rice noodles, cooked
  • 6 rice paper wraps

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime, juiced

Instructions

  1. Grill or pan fry chicken breasts until thermometer reads 170F (about 5-7 minutes per side). Set aside to cool.

  2. Cook noodles according to package directions and run under cold water to cool. Set aside.

  3. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

  4. Julienne all veggies.

  5. Wash and dry mint and cilantro leaves.

  6. In a bowl of warm water, soak one rice paper wrap at a time, gently moving around until pliable. It should not feel stiff.

  7. Spread out the wrap on a cutting board. As you're working on your first roll, place another wrap in the water to soak, so it is ready to go when you have finished making your roll.

  8. Layer fillings in the following order: mint leaves, 1/4 cup noodles, julienned veggies (small handful), 3 slices of chicken, cilantro.

  9. You don't want to overfill the wraps. It's good to make a test roll, to assess how much filling will fit in your wrap.

  10. Fold over the left and right sides of the wrap, holding in the filling.

  11. Start at the top or bottom end, and continue rolling, tucking the filling into the wrap, like you would a burrito.

  12. Dip in sauce to serve.

Recipe Notes

If you’re making this for several people, you may choose to make extra sauce, so that everyone has their own bowl for dipping.  

When storing prepared summer rolls in the fridge, individually wrap them in plastic wrap, or separate them with a lettuce or cabbage leaf in a container to prevent them from sticking together. 

Other julienned vegetables can be used here such as cucumber, avocado, snap peas, and green onion. 

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Minestrone soup and more favorites

We had our first snowfall in Winnipeg in early October and even though I’ve been making soups weekly since September, this snowfall really inspired me to have some solid soup recipes on deck for the winter.

A few weeks ago, I shared my super easy Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup. It’s a favorite because it’s salty, has a variety of textures and it’s EASY! This Minestrone soup checks all those boxes too!

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How to pack efficiently for your weekend getaways

Packing for your weekend getaway doesn’t have to take up all your time.

We don’t travel much.  Yet.  With four small kids,  (ages 18 months, 3, 4, and 6) the idea of “travelling” stresses me out right now.   Since we are both teachers, our summer schedule is pretty much wide open and ready for impromptu getaways with the kids.  We love heading to family’s and friends’ cottages or heading to a hotel with a great water park that doesn’t require air travel. We are pretty much game for anything.  It doesn’t matter where we go, or for how long, it seems like, with six people, we are always bringing so. Much. Stuff.

I’ve developed a system that makes packing a little less daunting and more efficient in the grand scheme of our daily life. Here are 9 tips that I use regularly when I pack.

Tip #1 – Have a swimming bag

This is my favorite tip because whether you’re heading out to the lake for the weekend, or just heading to the splash pad for the day, you are ready even before you’ve made plans.  I like to use the big blue bag from Ikea for this, because it’s waterproof, I can toss it in the washing machine if it gets dirty, and I won’t be upset if it gets forgotten somewhere or destroyed. Here is what I pack in ours:

  • one towel for each person
  • one swimsuit for each person
  • sunscreen
  • swim diapers (I love these cloth swim diapers from AMP.  They are 15$ each and do the exact same thing as a disposable swim diaper, except they are better for the planet. I do recommend having two per kid, just in case. If we’re going somewhere for an extended period of time, I will also pack disposable swim diapers because poop happens.)
  • hats (we operate on two hats per person, so I don’t like to keep hats in the swimming bag because they’re almost always in use anyway, and we always keep one in our outdoor bin, which I mentioned in How to pack a summer deck bin to save time. But, if you have extra hats, by all means, pack them and it will save you from trying to find hats on the way out the door.

Once our bag is packed, I keep it in the laundry room until we need it.  You can keep yours wherever you have room for it. Front closet, storage room. It doesn’t matter.  What does matter, is what you do with your swimming bag when you get home from swimming.  Since the bag is waterproof, wet towels and bathing suits can go right back in the bag for the drive or walk home. The bag then gets dumped directly into the washing machine when we get home.

Tip #1a – Re-pack it once everything has been washed and dried

This saves you time, because everything you need for your next swimming activity is already in your laundry room, ready for your next use.  Why put it away, only to pack it up again in the next few days? This wastes time and if you’re like me, you have better things to do with your time than to put away laundry

Tip #2 – Pack a day bag

A day bag is something you can grab when you’re heading to the park, for a walk, or basically anywhere. I like to think of it as a smaller version of a diaper bag.  If you’re like me, the more kids you have, the smaller your diaper bag gets.  I chose a basic tote from Old Navy that is small enough to fit in the bottom of my stroller.  You could use a reusable shopping bag if you’re not picky.  Here is what I pack:

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • change pad or receiving blanket
  • sunscreen
  • a small non-perishable snack (trail mix, granola bar, dried fruit)
  • water bottles for the kids
  • my wallet (so this bag can double as my purse)
  • change of clothes for the baby
  • grocery bag for garbage or diaper blowouts, whichever comes first

When you get home from your outing, refill the bag with anything that you used during the day.  Since you are doing this right when you get home, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what needs to be restocked.

Tip #3 – Use a laundry bag

Whenever we go anywhere overnight, I always pack a laundry bag.  When something is dirty, it goes in the bag. When we get home, we wash the entire bag and we know that everything left in the other bags is still clean.  It’s really that simple.  I have a laundry bag from Ikea that I love because it’s big, sturdy, and has a drawstring and a mesh pocket for shoes or wet items, but they unfortunately don’t make it anymore!

Tip #4 – One bag per person

Previously, I attempted packing one large suitcase for all the kids to share. This seems like a good idea in theory, because it’s one bag instead of four, however, now that the kids are fairly independent, having their own bag allows them to dress themselves and find what they need without rifling through one shared suitcase.

I love these backpacks from
Real Canadian Superstore because they have two mesh pockets for shoes or water bottles and they have a strap on the front to hold a towel or blanket.
They also came with a matching lunch box that easily clips onto the front.
This is what a three-day getaway looks like for our family of two adults and four kids. Right to left: One backpack for each of the kids, one drawstring bag for adult bedding and pillows, one swimming bag, one bag for each adult, an extra bag for food (there’s only a huge watermelon and a bag of chips in that bag), a storage bin for food and a cooler. All lined up a ready to go in the trunk.

Tip #5 – Assembly line

When I pack, I line the kids backpacks up on a large folding table, where we typically do our laundry. I make piles of clothes in front of each backpack, while folding laundry. There is no need to put laundry away in closets and drawers if you can pack it directly in a bag. I put everything in the backpacks and leave them open until absolutely everything is packed. If I am missing some items before closing up the bags, I write on a sticky note what needs to get put in, then I cross off the items as they get added to the bags.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click the images below if you want to purchase the products I use. I only promote products I use and love!

lined post-it notes in three colors
I love using these lined Post-It notes for packing. Stick one on the fridge, on the freezer, in front of each person’s bag to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Tip #6 – Pack for trip B while you’re unpacking from trip A

Now that you’ve started your laundry from trip A, think about where your next destination will take you. If it’s coming up within the next week, start packing for trip B. Since you used a laundry bag (see tip #3), you know that everything left in the backpacks is still clean. Take it all out and place it in a laundry basket. Now you’re ready to restart your assembly line for trip B (see tip #5)

Tip #7 – Use a storage bin for non-perishable food

Using a storage bin for non-perishable (and non-refrigerated foods like whole fruits) is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • Place all your groceries in it ahead of time, saving you precious time the day of your departure.
  • It stores in the trunk for easy access when you’re camping.
  • Easily see what’s in it versus a grocery bag
  • Keep bread, buns and chips from getting crushed and jammed into the trunk.

No instructions needed for this tip. Use a bin. Period.

Tip #8 – Freeze as much as your cooler food as you can

This tip matters less, if your destination has a fridge. If you’re going to keep your food in the cooler all weekend, this is going to save you some space. Freeze items like hot dogs, meats, hummus, homemade pasta sauce and juice boxes so they can act like ice packs. Make sure to consider what your first meal will be on arrival, to ensure that you have something defrosted.

Tip #9 – Make lists

This is my best tip, not only for packing, but for staying organized in general. Make lists! So, to finish off this post, here is a list of all my packing tips, for quick reference. Happy packing!

  • Pack a swimming bag
  • Re-pack it once everything has been washed and dried
  • Pack a day bag
  • Use a laundry bag
  • One bag per person
  • Assembly line
  • Pack for trip B while you’re unpacking from Trip A
  • Use a storage bin for non-perishable food
  • Freeze as much of your cooler food as you can