I recently had a beautiful invitation to visit a friend who has a home in Malibu.  Although I have been to California, this was my first trip to this area of the state.  It’s dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and beautiful climate for growing farm fresh vegetables is amazing.  I was lucky enough to go to a restaurant on the Pier, Malibu Farms, which is a delicious farm to table spot that has such a fresh, spectacular menu and  great atmosphere.  The food is not fussy and not particularly complicated, but uses great farm fresh ingredients.  I bought the gorgeous cookbook before I left, and really loved reading about the owner’s path from the beginnings of her farm to becoming a restaurant owner.  Helene Henderson tells her story in the forward of the book and I loved learning about her passion for good, clean food that started by entertaining guests outside at her farm in Malibu and eventually led her to opening a restaurant.  The pictures and photography are exquisite and provide a lovely illustration of her recipes, food and journey. You do need a mandolin for this recipe, so you can julienne the Persian cucumber into thin ribbons and shave the cabbage and onions thinly.  This task without the mandolin would take a lot of time and effort otherwise.  If you didn’t want to cook your own chicken, rotisserie chicken from the store would be a great and simple alternative.  This is the first recipe I have tried, and I made a few changes, but not many to her original recipe.  I think it’s just delicious and served it for a girl’s dinner.  It would be a great option for a side salad on a buffet table, as the cabbage holds up well even after dressing has been marinating the leaves.  Even the leftovers tasted good the following day!

serves 4


for chicken and marinade:

  • 10 chicken tenders
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • t tablespoon Sriracha sauce

for salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage (I love savoy)
  • 4 persian cucumbers, julienned
  • 1 small red onion halved and shaved, or very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (I buy these prepared in the market)
  • ! cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

for dressing:

  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (adjust to heat sensitivity)
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil. or other neutral flavored oil
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste


for chicken:

Whisk together all ingredients for marinade in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Place chicken tenders in a sealed bag with marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to several hours.  Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay tenders flat and cook for about 10-12 minutes until cooked through.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred chicken in strands, or slice thinly and set aside.

for salad:

Place all ingredients for salad in a large bowl.  Add shredded chicken and toss to combine.  Whisk together all ingredients for dressing and pour over salad to coat.  Salad can be served immediately, enjoy!