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A Dave Spencer Super Bowl Salad…With (a Few) Vegetables


I had to laugh when Taco Bell was forced to take a commercial off the air that kinda sorta bad-mouthed vegetables in the context of a Super Bowl party menu.

I guess when 32-ounce beverages are coming under fire, it’s an eggshell walk when you start taking potshots at the cucumbers and carrots. Except that something I made while I was on vacation actually contains cucumbers and carrots and actually wouldn’t be bad for a Super Bowl party.

Some years ago I was at a party while out of town and a friend of mine made a spicy peanut dipping sauce for grilled chicken tenders. It was awesome! And I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it ever since.

So, for dinner earlier this week, I made it and incorporated into–for lack of a better term–an Asian chicken salad.

Don’t worry, there’s no lettuce.

But there are the aforementioned cucumbers and carrots. I used some of that crunchy natural peanut butter because it’s more liquidy than the regular kind. (And not really appropriate for a sandwich, if you ask me.) I used about two tablespoons because I was going to make it into a dressing.

I stirred in Asian chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey. I used two tablespoons of the chili sauce, one for the soy and honey, and a teaspoon for the vinegar. I bought some brown rice noodles and cooked those according to the package.

When those were done I tossed them with the sauce, matchstick-sized carrot slivers and chopped & peeled cucumbers, and some roasted chicken.

It was really good. I couldn’t believe it.\

(Oh, by the way, the dish in the photo closely resembles mine. But, uh, forget the flowers. What’s the point?)

I took a flyer on a recipe and it worked out. And, you know, if you want to use the sauce for dipping–say, with chicken tenders or whatever–you can just double or triple the recipe depending on how much you need. Plus, I’d add more of that chili sauce for dipping so you can really spice it up.

Now, I don’t see why you couldn’t have that on the menu Sunday when the 49ers win the Super Bowl.

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