Now that it’s fully summer here in North Carolina salads are the perfect meal prep for me! It’s too hot for a hot lunch every day and a good salad is just so refreshing, and filling! This one kept me full all afternoon and I just love it. While the whole thing is good, the highlight for me is definitely the Chinese Five Spice chicken – it’s perfect and so flavorful. If you’ve never tried it I highly suggest checking it out.
- the salad base – I used kale here because I’ve finally figured out how to prepare it so I like it and it holds up realy well all week for meal prep!
substitution ideas: I’ve used spinach successfully before as well, the key is to store the greens correctly so that they aren’t wilted and sad by the end of the week.
- the chicken – you don’t have to roast a whole chicken like I did if you don’t happen to have one or just aren’t feeling it, but there’s something so satisfying about roasting a whole chicken, or is that just me? the Chinese five spice rub is one of my favorite flavors and is just three ingredients!
substitution ideas: whatever meat you want to use! I think chicken breasts or thighs would be great here, just be sure to adjust the cooking so you don’t dry them out. or, if you don’t feel like heating up the oven, use a store bought rotisserie chicken!
- the sweet potatoes – I love a starch in my salads and sweet potatoes go beautifully with the chicken too. plus, these are easy to make.
substitution ideas: add any other starchy component you’re feeling! butternut squash would be great, or you can add a grain like quinoa instead.
- the extras – I’ll be honest, I was lazy with this meal prep and didn’t add many extras, just some sliced red onions. However, even with just that it was amazing and I looked forward to eating it every day!
substitution ideas: while I kept it simple there are so many things that would be great here. throw in some roasted pecans, or dried cranberries, or some cheese, or all of those to really add to the fun.
- the dressing – I wanted honey mustard dressing so that’s what I went with! no recipe though, I got store bought and it was lovely. honestly I was a little surprised by how good it was in this salad, it pairs perfectly with the chinese five spice flavors!
substitution ideas: whatever you like will probably work here! an acidic viniagrette would be great, or any kind of creamy dressing pairs with the spices nicely too. I don’t think you can go wrong
One salad, so many options! I hope you make the perfect salad for YOU and absolutely love it.
Looking for more like this?
I’ve got you covered:
- apple cranberry quinoa salad
- caprese salad
- summer salad
- grilled summer salad
- salad with raspberry viniagrette
Summer is here and so are some great salads! While this whole Chinese five spice & roast sweet potato bowl is good, the highlight for me is definitely the Chinese Five Spice chicken - it's perfect and so flavorful. This will have you looking forward to lunch and keep you full all afternoon!
for the chicken
- 2-3 lb chicken
- 3 Tbsp Chinese five spice
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
for the sweet potatoes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 cups kale
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- honey mustard dressing
- prep the sweet potatoes: preheat the oven to 450*. toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the oil and salt, then spread onto a large sheet pan so they're spaced out. set aside
- prep the chicken: in a small bowl, combine the Chinese five spice, brown sugar, and salt. set aside. prep a sheet pan by spraying it with nonstick spray and setting a metal cooling rack into the pan. have nearby
- butterfly the chicken by using a pair of kitchen sheers or sturdy scissors, cut along one side of the backbone. pull apart as far as you can, then flip the chicken over and push down on the brest bone to flatten the whole thing. This will make the chicken cook more evenly and quicker. dry off the chicken on both sides with a paper towel, then brush with the oil and sprinkle on the prepared Chinese five spice rub. transfer to the prepared pan with the breast side up
- roast: place both the chicken and potatoes in the oven. if you don't have enough space you may need to do these one at a time. the potatoes will cook in about 30-40 minutes, depending on hwo big the cubes are. they're done when you can easily pierce them with a fork and they're browned. the chicken will cook for 45-55 minutes or until the breast meat reaches 150* at the bone and the thighs reach 165*. set aside and let rest before carving and storing
- prep the greens: roughly chop the kale into smaller pieces and remove any stems that you see. place into a large bowl and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. toss and massage with your fingertips
- enjoy! when ready to eat, top a generous portion of kale with the chicken, sweet potatoes, red onion, and your dressing