I don't know about your town, but in my town it just got HOT.  And I love it.

Hot means warm summertime tomatoes from the farmers market, plunges into a crystal lake, sun-pinked cheeks, and daylight until bedtime.  Because on a good summer day, you're worn out by 9:30.  

And hot necessitates eating cool, crisp salads.  Salads that make you feel good about yourself for eating them and give you a satisfying crunch and fullness.

In other words, put this on your list of dinners to make.  Tonight.  

Now, I know the ingredient list is long, and normally I see more than six ingredients and think, no thank you, too high maintenance!  But this is a list where I had almost everything.  Peanut butter {check}, soy sauce {check}, garlic {double check- freak out if I don't have at least a head of garlic at all times}, vinegar, sugar, water, peanuts {check, check, duh, check}.  See? We can do this.

And if on this first day of hotness, you already cannot imagine turning on your oven or cranking up the stove- this is for you.  Ok, you do have to poach the chicken, but boiling water and dropping chicken in is about as low maintenance as cooking gets.  You can go sip iced tea under a fan somewhere for the twenty minutes it takes to cook.  {Even that last sentence makes me excited: cool tea!  on a hot day!  sunshine everywhere!  the pool!  yes, everything comes back to my obsession with sun+water in summertime.  I've already even achieved my inaugural, accidental sunburn.}

Summertime Thai Chopped Chicken Salad
Serves 4, from Pinch of Yum

2 chicken breasts {about 1 pound}
2 cups chopped cabbage {stuff in the bag is fine}
2 large carrots
1 cucumber
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup green onions
1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, head cut off and semi de-seeded
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add chicken breasts.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.  When chicken is cooked through, pull out and let cool.  Shred with two forks.

Shred carrots and cucumber {I did this with my food processor since its super fast, and then made the sauce in the food processor since it was already out.  But you can hand do both steps as well}.  Dump cabbage, shredded carrots and cucumber, chopped cilantro, chopped onions, and chicken into a large bowl.

Either combine all the sauce ingredients in the food processor or mince garlic and jalapeno and mix with the other ingredients.

Pour sauce over veggie/chicken mixture, top with chopped peanuts and serve!

Pool tomorrow, anyone?

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