Crunchy Asian Salad

The few times I've had a salad like this (with ramen noodles, coleslaw and Asian dressing) I've loved it, but they always seem so unhealthy! Well folks, here's a healthy version with less calories, fat, sugar, and more of the good stuff (vitamins, fiber, etc)! It's the featured recipe for the month of June in a free "Eat Better America" calendar I got in the mail. The picture looked so tempting and I knew I had to try it! I love salads with texture from a lot of different ingredients—this one hits the spot! And the dressing is SO good! This salad is way better than any other ramen noodle salad I've had! And you can feel good eating it!

1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar if you don't have this)
3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 package (3 oz) ramen noodle soup mix (any flavor)
1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
8 medium green onions (1/2 cup), sliced (I only had 3 but more would be better)
1/2 cup (2 oz) sliced almonds (or peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, or cashews)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 (11 oz) cans of mandarin oranges (drained), or two peeled and chopped naval oranges
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
Shredded chicken (optional—I used a 13 oz can of chicken)

In a small bowl, beat dressing ingredients with a wire whisk or fork until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well blended.
Break up ramen noodles in bag before opening. Discard seasoning packet from soup package. In a large bowl, combine noodles, dressing, and all remaining salad ingredients except oranges and spinach; toss to mix well. Stir in oranges and spinach.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours (I had some that was older than that and it was still delicious, but the noodles are soft).

By the way, this makes a huge salad (15 servings!), especially if you're only feeding two people! But I've loved having it for dinner, then lunch, then lunch again to finish it off! ;)

Another by the way: without chicken, there's only 110 calories in a 2/3-cup serving! But who can only eat 2/3 cup?!


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