I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Dole provided me with free coupons for the purpose of creating this Hawaiian salad with pineapple chicken, as well as compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.
Before I started down the road of losing 135 pounds, I ate salad only very occasionally, as a side dish. I just didn’t see the point. But now, eleven years later, I eat them all the time—and love them. This Hawaiian salad with pineapple chicken is hard not to love. But as silly/crazy as it sounds, learning to appreciate a salad is one of the biggest dietary changes I made in my life. Because while losing weight, and into maintenance, I was terrified of being hungry. Since I had spent 20 years overweight, I was used to eating a huge volume of food. It was hard to drastically cut my portions down. My stomach didn’t shrink right away, and neither did my sense of what a decent portion should be. I realized that with salads, I could eat a big quantity of food that was actually good for me, without going crazy on the calories, since fresh veggies are naturally low-calorie. I started making them more and more. They were fresh and full of variety, topped with protein and fat for staying power, and maybe best of all, they satisfied me physically and mentally.
That’s the power of a good salad: QUANTITY (filling) + QUALITY (nutritious) + VARIETY (delicious)
There is an endless number of combinations that can be created to suit any taste, any dietary preferences, any season…the list goes on. But one of my favorite flavor combos is sweet and savory, which brings us to this Hawaiian salad with Pineapple Chicken!
Hawaiian Salad with Pineapple Chicken
We have a tropical getaway in a bowl. It combines tender ginger-soy-marinated pineapple chicken, juicy pineapple, sliced almonds, crisp romaine lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, and a light sesame vinaigrette!
The marinade is deliciously salty-sweet—made with pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger (but you can swap in ground ginger! See the recipe for a note on how), and scallions.
The base of our Hawaiian salad is a fresh, colorful mix (more color = more nutrition) of DOLE Romaine Lettuce, DOLE Shredded Cabbage, DOLE Shredded Carrots, and the best part: DOLE Fresh Pineapple. Convenience-wise, there is nothing better than having pre-shredded cabbage and shredded carrots in my fridge. I always notice that my salads are so much tastier and more interesting when the ingredients are prepped and ready to go. The final salad topping is a sprinkle of sliced almonds for crunch and healthy fat.
DOLE Get Up and Grow! Together Tour
DOLE is committed to helping people live healthier lives. That’s why they started the Get Up and Grow! Together Tour and Healthy Living Challenge. The tour will be visiting different cities around the country and will feature healthy living recipes, free samples of healthy food, and healthy themed experiences for kids and adults. You can find more information and tour stops here: Get Up and Grow! Together Tour
DOLE Healthy Living Challenge
The Healthy Living Challenge allows you to sign up online, alone or with a group, and earn points by tackling challenges like eating more fruits and vegetables or exercising. It’s basically like healthy living fantasy sports and the participants can win healthy culinary experiences for themselves and a group of friends. You can sign up and find more information here: Healthy Living Challenge
Hawaiian Salad with Pineapple Chicken
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 1 ¼ pounds chicken breast tenderloins
Sesame Soy Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 garlic clove minced (or ½ teaspoon ground)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 DOLE® Romaine Hearts
- ¾ cup DOLE® Shredded Carrots
- ¾ cup DOLE® Shredded Red Cabbage
- 2 cups chopped DOLE® Fresh Pineapple
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, whisk the pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallion. Put the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag and pour the pineapple marinade over the top. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and turn the bag once or twice to coat the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Set aside until ready to use. Whisk again before adding to the salad.
- For the chicken, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the remaining marinade, and add the chicken in a single layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before chopping into small pieces.
- To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, toss the romaine, carrots, cabbage, and vinaigrette. Divide among 4 bowls or plates and top each with ¼ of chicken and pineapple. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and serve.