Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad

Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

Get ready for a whole lot of crunch and Asian-inspired flavour! This sweet and savoury Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad is gluten free, dairy free, and full of filling fiber and protein. Paleo + Whole30 options included!


Is it a salad? Or is it a noodle bowl? Or is it another slaw? Welcome, friends, to the twisted inner workings of my food blogging brain.

By now you’ve probably noticed that I like a good salad, and that salads here on My Fresh Perspective are typically the meal-sized variety rather than the side dish kind. I’d say my favourites are those that include as many different colours as possible, but that’s just really a cover-up for my indecisiveness when it comes to ingredients.

Purple cabbage? Sure!

Napa cabbage? Yes!

Carrots? Of course!

Every single flippin’ vegetable shipped to the grocery store this morning, just because they all showed up? The more the merrier!

Ok, maybe not every single one. But don’t underestimate me.

Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

I was talking to a friend last week about how we’re in a funky time of year in terms of fashion and food. I want to go out in skirts and cute tees, dresses with pumps, and wraps or my favourite worn-in-just-right denim jacket. But realistically I’m in a holding pattern of jeans and sweaters with not-quite-winter-but-still-warm coats on my walks to work in the morning.

Food-wise, as much as I love winter squash and root vegetables dearly, I’ve had my fill for the season. I’m dying to go scoop up all the fresh produce I can get my hands on at the farmers market, then toss together gorgeous salads full of radishes, snap peas, baby lettuces, fresh herbs, citrus and allllll the avocados – perhaps with some grilled chicken or fish. But in reality, it rained for most of this past weekend and outside at the farmer’s market I was not.

Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

So what’s an impatient girl to do? Evidently, the answer has been to come up with in-between sort of dishes. The kind that are vibrant enough in colour to keep me hopeful about spring, while substantial enough to make me feel calm and satiated inside. (In other words, not 100% raw, which can be hard on digestion in cooler climates, and is advised against by Ayurvedic traditions.) One such in-between dish: this Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad. Or bowl. Or slaw. Trust me, you won’t care once the first delicious bite is in your mouth.

Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

A few very quick tips about this one:

  • If you don’t want to bother with chopping the cabbage, you can easily cheat with a pre-chopped bag of shredded cabbage or similar Asian-style slaw mix
  • This meal comes together in minutes when you use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, or any chicken you can grill/bake ahead of time. I like to do this on Sundays so I’ve got the meat to toss into whatever dishes I like – including this one!
  • Paleo + Whole30 options are included in the recipe notes, but for now, know that the swaps are simple. Omit edamame for both, and when it comes to noodles, shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles are your besties.

Alrighty, grab your chopsticks. Let’s dig in!

Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

Print
Healthy Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad with paleo and Whole30 options, perfect for meal prep | My Fresh Perspective | #paleo #whole30 #chicken #mealprep #eatclean

Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad


  • Author: Angela Simpson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

Get ready for a whole lot of crunch and Asian-inspired flavour! This sweet and savoury Mandarin Almond Chicken Noodle Salad is gluten free, dairy free, and full of filling fiber and protein. Paleo + Whole30 options included!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 70g uncooked gluten-free ramen noodles (check out Lotus Foods – they’re my fave!) or 2x7oz bags shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained (I use these ones from Thrive Market), or zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer
  • 200g grilled, roasted or baked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 2 cups each finely shredded napa cabbage and purple cabbage
  • 1 carrot, grated or shredded
  • 2 cups very thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2/3 cup mandarin orange segments, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shelled defrosted edamame
  • 1/4 cup almonds (raw or toasted, whole or slivered – your choice!)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

For the dressing (makes about 2/3 cup):

  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp minced or pureed fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or coconut aminos
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil, if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey (see recipe notes)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the ramen noodles according to package directions, then drain well. If using shirataki noodles, rinse and drain well.
  2. Chop or shred the chicken and all remaining ingredients as listed above. In a large bowl, toss them all together.
  3. In a small jar, shake up all ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Depending on your preference, you can add more of the dressing and mix again, or serve the remainder on the side of each serving.
  5. Divide the salad between two bowls and serve.

Notes

For a Whole30 compliant version, replace noodles with zucchini noodles, omit edamame and honey, and use coconut aminos in the dressing.

For a paleo version, use shirataki noodles and omit edamame.

If you prefer to replace the honey with a lower GI sweetener such as stevia or monkfruit, feel free to do so. Its main function is to add sweetness, and it won’t affect the consistency of the dressing much.

  • Category: salad
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: chicken salad, Asian, lunch, dinner, salad, gluten free recipes, dairy free, high protein, low sugar, Chinese

So tell me… do you find yourself eating in-between meals right now? What do some of your take-to-work lunches look like these days?

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