Chinese Chicken (or Tofu) Salad with Cucumbers: Recipe & Health Benefits

August 18, 2008

Here is the recipe that was used for the “Conscious Cooking” demo that I participated in this weekend with Ingrid Cheng at the Holistic Health Club Retreat.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Cucumbers

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 chicken thigh, boiled and shredded
1 bunch green onions, chop fine
2 tsp. fresh Chinese parsley (optional)
1 tsp. sesame and flax seeds
2 tbsp. White vinegar
2 tsp. Soy sauce
2 tsp. Teriyaki Sauce
1 tbsp. Sesame oil
Sprinkle of sugar, garlic salt, ground black pepper
In one bowl, flavor thinly sliced cucumbers with a sprinkle of sugar, garlic salt, ground black pepper. Add 2 tbsp. white vinegar and 1 tbsp. sesame oil and mix.
2. In separate bowl, flavor boiled and shredded chicken thigh with 2 tsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. Teriyaki Sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil and a sprinkle of ground black pepper. Mix well.
3. Add 2 to 1. Garnish with sesame and flax seeds, finely chopped green onions and Chinese parsley (optional). For a spicy kick, add a dash of Chili Pepper.

Vegetarian option: substitute teriyaki baked tofu and agar for chicken.
Handful of agar, chopped evenly (length of finger)
1. Boil water, put chopped agar in hot water and quickly pour out into colander
2. Pat agar with paper towel to dry further
3. In one bowl, flavor thinly sliced cucumbers with a sprinkle of sugar, garlic salt, ground black pepper. Add 2 tbsp. white vinegar and 1 tbsp. sesame oil and mix
4. In separate bowl, flavor agar with a sprinkle of garlic salt, ground black pepper and sesame oil. Mix well.
5. Cut teriyaki baked tofu into slices. Add sliced tofu and agar to 3.
6. Garnish with sesame and flax seeds, finely chopped green onions and Chinese parsley (optional).

Understanding how foods can function to benefit your health is an important ingredient to choosing healthy foods and living a healthy life. Here are some of the health benefits that are packed into this simple little salad…..

Cucumbers– The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains Vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers’ hard skin is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including potassium and magnesium.

Chicken- Chicken is an excellent source of protein. 4 ounces of chicken contains almost 30 grams of lean protein, which is over half of the average person’s daily need of protein. The leanest part of the chicken is the breast, but, even the dark meat has little fat and calories…just be sure to take the skin off. Chicken is leanest when it is prepared baked, roasted, grilled, and not fried. Protein is an important part of everyone’s diet as it helps build and maintain the muscles in our bodies.

Onions- Onions are low in calories yet add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods. With only 45 calories per serving, onions are fat and cholesterol free, very low in sodium, high in vitamin C, and a good source of fiber and other key nutrients.

Higher intakes of fruits and vegetables have been associated with a variety of health benefits. Research shows that onions may help guard against many chronic diseases. That’s probably because onions contain generous amounts of a flavonoid called quercetin. Other sources are tea and apples, but research shows that absorption of quercetin from onions is twice that from tea and more than three times that from apples. Studies have shown that quercetin protects against cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

In addition, onions contain a variety of other naturally occurring chemicals known as organosulfur compounds that have been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (Source: http://www.onions-usa.org/about/nutrition.asp)

Flaxseeds– In just 1 or 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, you will get an abundant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is proven to help reduce inflammation (such as in arthritis), protect bone health, protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Flaxseeds are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, folate, and several other nutrients.

Sesame seeds- Surprisingly those little seeds provide a very good source of manganese, and copper and a good source of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. There are many health benefits associated with those nutrients. Sesame seeds also contain compounds called phytoesterols, which may help to lower cholesterol.

Garlic– Garlic is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods according to the National Cancer Institute. It has also been found to lower blood cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, boost the immune system, lift mood, and have a calming effect.

Tofu– Tofu is a protein and nutrient rich food made from curds of soybean milk. It contains the highest quality protein compared to any other vegetable source. Research shows that soy protein may help to lower blood cholesterol, improve good cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and improve symptoms of menopause.


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