This morning I went to the gym and ran some errands as I normally do. But, today was a little different. Today the wind chill was -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Booo!!!
I’m not a fan of the cold, at all! I’m convinced I was born in the wrong part of the world. I’ve always envisioned myself moving to a tropical paradise, like an island in the Caribbean. For now, however, I’m trying to make the most of my frigid midwestern paradise. 🙂
Although it’s freezing outside, this recipe for tropical salad with coconut chicken and pineapple vinaigrette is definitely warming my spirits. It’s absolutely gorgeous, tastes amazing, and reminds me of the warm tropical beaches I covet.
This salad has chopped lettuce, sliced veggies, pineapple rings, and baked coconut chicken tenders. And, it all gets coated in a pineapple vinaigrette made from pineapple juice.
- For the Coconut Chicken Tenders:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 lb. chicken tenders
- cooking spray
- For the Pineapple Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple in the salad)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- For the Tropical Salad:
- 6 cups chopped romain lettuce
- 1 (20 oz.) can sliced pineapple rings in 100% pineapple juice
- 1 medium avocado, peel and seed removed, sliced
- ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup grape tomatoes (about 12)
- Prepare the coconut chicken tenders. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a wide shallow dish, add the eggs, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until well combined. In a second wide shallow dish, add the panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut. Stir to combine.
- Dip the chicken tenders in the egg mixture, coating both sides. Lift the chicken out of the egg and allow the excess to drip off. Place the egg coated chicken into the coconut mixture. Press the coconut mixture into the chicken ensuring that all sides are completely coated. Place the coconut coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Discard the excess egg and coconut mixture. Spray the tops of the chicken tenders with cooking spray.
- Bake on the middle oven rack for 12-14 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and coating is crisp and light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- In the meantime, prepare the vinaigrette. Pour ¼ cup of the pineapple juice out of the can of sliced pineapple rings into a small bowl. Add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients to the bowl. Whisk until well combined. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Whisk or shake well before serving.
- Assemble the salad. In a large serving bowl, add the lettuce. Top with 8 pineapple rings, the sliced avocado, sliced red onion, and grape tomatoes. Add the desired amount of vinaigrette to the salad and toss until the salad is well coated.
- Top the salad with the coconut chicken tenders. Serve immediately.