Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice Salad

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I’d say the best part of staying with my family while vacationing for three weeks was having the extra help.  Once I’m in my routine I don’t have any problem running a household – I really enjoy it, but it was nice to not have to cook dinner every night while feeding Cia and keeping Calen content.  We all took turns cooking so between five of us whoever was inspired spoke up and cooked a meal.  I was so used to this I almost forgot I had to cook dinner on Monday night when Josh returned to work.  I was wrapped up in Cia’s afternoon routine when it occurred to me I had no dinner plan!  Thankfully I did have a freshly stocked fridge and this meal came together easily.

I’m not a huge chicken fan so I have no idea why I bought a pound of chicken tenders.  They were staring at me while I was waiting for some soup bones at the grocery store and I knew we needed food in the house.  And variety in food is good.  We had a bunch of cilantro in the fridge and a lime so I figured that was the call.  I quickly mixed up a basic marinade and went through the cabinets to see what else we had.  Black beans sounded like a good fit but we were out so I opted for brown lentils instead.  And from this I decided to make a rice salad.  The cilantro and lime flavored the dish and I used mandarin oranges for a little extra something.  I served this over a bed of steamed kale.  You could leave the kale raw and massage it with a little salt but lately I’ve been preferring it steamed – takes the bitter flavor right out.

For such a throw together meal this was delicious and vibrant!  I love colorful meals.  And as a bonus Cia ate quite a bit of chicken from the leftovers.

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Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice Salad

  • 1/2 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • s&p
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup brown lentils, I used canned
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup mandarin orange slices, drained
  • 1/4 cup pepita seeds
  • handful cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • s&p
  • bunch of green kale
  1. Mix chicken tenders with cilantro leaves, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, and season with s&p.  Marinate chicken in fridge for 30 minutes to 3 hours.
  2. When it’s time for dinner cook the brown rice according to package.
  3. Grill chicken, 5-6 minutes per side.  Once cooked slice chicken into 1″ pieces.
  4. Meanwhile remove stems from kale and steam until just tender.  Set aside.
  5. Mix rice, tomato, orange slices, pepita seeds, chicken, cilantro leaves, lime juice, and lime zest.  Season with s&p.
  6. Place kale into bowls and serve chicken and rice salad on top.

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