I LOVE chicken salad. I remember the first time I ever had it. My family and I were on a vacation white water rafting in Colorado. We were half way into our day on the river and stopped for lunch. The crew leaders made chicken salad with chunks of celery and onions. It was probably my favorite part of the trip. When we returned home, my Mom started making the recipe & it became a family favorite.
Chicken salad sounds like it would be healthy but a majority of recipes are total calorie bombs. Filled with mayo and sour cream. Using dark meat from chicken. Huge portions of chicken salad on sourdough bread. All are wonderful things in their own right, but it makes me feel gross seeing the calorie content on chicken salad recipes. There was a time in my life when eating healthy all the time wasn’t something I thought too much about. But the older I get and more educated I am about food effects on the body, the more I strive to “healthify” my favorite recipes.
This chicken salad recipe would fall under the clean eating category. Clean eating is classified by eating foods as close as possible to their natural state. Avoid processed and packaged foods with preservatives and chemicals. A clean eating diet consists of fresh produce, lean meats, nuts and whole grains. Some books I’ve read allow limited dairy, some do not. The main dairy product I see widely accepted is Greek yogurt; reason being Greek yogurt is loaded with protein & that makes it ok.
To make Clean Eating Chicken Salad, you’ll need two cooked chicken breasts (cut into cubes), celery, onion, red grapes and Greek yogurt. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and season with sea salt & pepper. I could eat it just like this but I turned it into a sandwich with a 100% whole wheat pita. An easy mistake of clean eating is not looking at labels. Many breads will say 100% whole wheat on the package but when you read the list of ingredients and refined white flour is on the list, put back the bread and find something else. Across the board, you want to eat food with fewer ingredients & recognize all of the ingredients you’re eating. If you can’t pronounce something listed, don’t eat it.
Have I rambled enough for you yet?? I guess my point of this little post today is know what you’re putting into your body. I created a healthy chicken salad recipe because I can’t live my life with out eating it! Greek yogurt is an easy & tasty substitute for mayonnaise. There is a nice crunch to this salad from the celery and onion. My favorite part are the red grapes! It gives this chicken salad an element of sweetness perfect for the summer months. By using chicken breast meat, this recipe is loaded with protein and very little fat.
What are our favorite recipes you can’t live with out? Do any of them need a healthified makeover? Let me know in the comments and I might be able to help! I’m not a clean eating expert…just trying to apply some simple steps to every day life.
- 2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cut into cubes
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, quartered
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- dash of sea salt
- 2 100% whole-wheat pita halves (optional)
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix all of the salad ingredients. Chicken salad can be eaten as is or eat as a pita sandwich. Recipe serves 4.