Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken Salad Heaven

After experiencing some difficulties trying to get into the football game on Saturday evening I instead decided to stay home and get my life together for the evening so I could get up Sunday and get on track with school work. This turned out to be a wise decision as I got sucked into cleaning my personal email and filtering through my Pinterest account.

I've been eating Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice meals like it's going out of style, and quite frankly for me it is. I'm over eating frozen things--and really over so much pasta. What's the deal with these two needing to plug so many carbs into all of their meals? For someone who isn't the biggest fan of pasta (and getting sick of frozen meal) I decided to embark on a new journey for the school year. Preparing my own food...what an original idea right?

Recently becoming even more obsessed with Hungry Girl I decided to pick a few recipes to cook for the week, and even freeze some for later. Back to the freezer...but at least frozen fresh food I cooked is a little better?

The first one I decided on was the Totally Nuts Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich. I'm a HUGE fan of chicken salad, but hate that adding "salad" to any food means stacking up on the calories. This recipe was modeled as a healthier version of Arby's Chicken Salad Sandwich which has 840 calories--yikes!

I set off to make this dish which was quite easy, though I made a few adjustments...


Using the George Foreman was a great way to quickly cook the chicken making it tender enough to shred apart



 I prefer walnuts, and didn't want to spend $4 on a bag of pecans when I already had something similar in the pantry

The fat-free mayo worked well (I didn't add the garlic powder) but I'm intrigued to make this next time with plain greek yogurt. I've heard it can be a great substitute for chicken salad!

 Voila!

Overall I really enjoyed this recipe. I ate it on a sandwich for lunch after letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours. While it was good in sandwich form, pieces of the salad were falling off everywhere. If I ate it as sandwich again I would try to use a whole wheat pita pocket. I brought it for lunch today at work in a container and then ate the salad with Wheat Thins--this was great! I could still really get the flavor of all of the ingredients without so much bread in the way.

For those of you with busy schedules this was so easy to whip up and will probably keep for the duration of the week. You can access the recipe in the link above, but I'll provide here for convenience as well...enjoy!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. garlic powder (I omitted)
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/4 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/4 cup chopped apple
2 tbsp. chopped celery
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped pecans (I switched to walnuts)
4 slices light bread, honey-wheat flavor if available
2 large lettuce leaves (I omitted)

Directions:
Place mayo, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Add chicken and stir to coat. Add grapes, apple, celery, and pecans; stir well and set aside.

To make each sandwich, lightly toast bread slices (if you like). Lay out 1 bread slice and top with a lettuce leaf. Evenly place half of the chicken salad (about 3/4 cup) over the lettuce. Top with the other bread slice.

Repeat with remaining bread, lettuce, and chicken salad to make the second sandwich. (Or cover and refrigerate the remaining chicken salad, and assemble that sandwich another day.)

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 1 sandwich (half of recipe)
Calories: 254
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 923mg
Carbs: 34g
Fiber: 6.5g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 20g 
PointsPlus
® value 7* 

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