Mango, Chicken & Brown Rice Salad with Coconut-Ginger Dressing

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This baby has everything that makes an unforgettable salad: an addictive balance of fresh, sweet, spicy, tart and nutty, plus a multitude of textures from the chewy rice, crunchy toasted coconut ribbons, silky mango, creamy avocado and tender chicken.

It also has everything you want in a meal salad: hearty whole grains, protein, and make-it-last till dinner healthy fats.

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The dressing is an amazing, creamy blend of coconut milk (homemade!), zingy ginger, sweet honey, bright lime juice and a bit of garlic. If you want to put it on everything from this point forward, I won't judge you. Heck, if you want to drink it, I won't judge you.

The only thing I'd do differently next time is add some greens - I rounded out the leftovers with a few handfuls of baby spinach, and it was perfect. You could even use some shredded kale or chard - just put it in the serving bowl before you add any of the other salad ingredients, and really massage the dressing into the leaves to soften them.

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Okay, now some boring blog housekeeping. If you're a regular around here (thank you, I love you!) you may have noticed my commitment issue with commenting platforms. My hubby/designer really prefers the aesthetic of Disqus/Lifefyre (you've seen both rotate through here) but I really value the community fostered by having a commenter's name link back to his or her own blog, and those silly platforms don't let that happen.

I finally (seriously, it took years of nagging requesting...) convinced the man with the power to convert me over to the plain old WordPress comments, and this is where I'm staying forever and ever and ever. Hooray, link-backs!

I love and appreciate your comments so much, thank you to all my lovely readers who have left me notes despite the lack of link-y love.

Now, salad:

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (dry) brown jasmine or basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup coconut ribbons or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, or 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 ripe mango, cut in chunks or thin slices
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For dressing:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Preparation

  1. Rinse rice, then combine with 3 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve and run cold water over it until cool. Place sieve over a bowl to drain at least ten minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, while rice is cooking, toast coconut in a 350 degree F oven for 6-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant (watch closely, it can burn).

  3. Place rice in bowl with toasted coconut, chicken (or beans), mango, avocado and cilantro.

  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad; toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.