This salad has quite a few stand out components which on their own would make for a great salad, but when combined, create one seriously delicious dish that’s packed full of vibrant flavours.
When marinating chicken I prefer to use thighs over breasts, as I find the meat is much more tender and juicy. In this recipe the chicken is marinated in a simple lemon and herb sauce that packs quite a zesty punch. The same marinade ingredients are also used in the cauliflower couscous, which absorbs so much of flavour that you may find adding oil and vinegar dressing to the salad is unnecessary.
I will use any opportunity I can to spiralize vegetables, there is something so fun about eating a long twisted spiral of cucumber, carrot or beet. In this recipe I spiralize cucumbers into thick noodle like pieces, but if you don’t have the right equipment you can simply cut them into cubes or slices. Thinly sliced green peppers add a nice crunch to this salad while any olive lovers (like myself) will enjoy the saltiness they bring to each bite.
I topped this salad with a dairy free, cashew based tzatziki which is really easy to prepare. If you are looking for a nut free alternative, the tzatziki could be substitute with butternut squash hummus or roasted zucchini hummus.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups cauliflower rice, approx ½ a medium sized head of cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup soaked cashews*
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp mint
- 2 tbsp dill
- ½ a cucumber
- 2 cups lettuce, shredded
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, spiralized
- ¼ cup olives
- ½ green pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Place the chicken thighs in a ziploc bag along with the ingredients for the marinade. Place the bag in the fridge and allow to marinate for a minimum 3 hours and ideally overnight.
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place them in a food processor or blender and pulse for 3-4 seconds until the florets have broken down into small pieces, don't over pulse the cauliflower, it should be in uniform rice sized pieces rather then a fine powder.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 crushed clove garlic in a large skillet on medium heat. After 2 minutes add in the cauliflower rice, chopped herbs and salt and pepper and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes until the cauliflower rice has softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- To make the tzatziki, drain the cashews and place them in a blender or food processor. Add in the garlic, lemon juice, dill and mint and blend. Slowly pour in the almond milk, scraping down the sides of the blender to ensure everything gets blended. Blend for approximately 3-4 minutes until the consistency is very creamy and then scrape into a bowl. Using a box grater, grate the cucumber. Place the grated cucumber in a paper towel and squeeze as tightly to remove as much liquid as possible before adding the cucumber to the cashew puree. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
- Heat a grill to medium heat and cook the chicken thighs for 5 minutes per side until they are completely cooked through.
- To assemble the salad, place the lettuce in a large bowl, top with the spiralized cucumber, sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, olives and green pepper. Cut the chicken and place on the salad along with the cauliflower couscous. Toss the salad with the olive oil and vinegar and serve with a dollop of tzatziki on top.