Monday, May 10, 2010
Curried Chicken Salad
This lunch staple packs a filling punch with a mere 247 calories!! It's a one stop shop for a balanced and filling meal that you can make up to a week ahead of time. Working moms, career gals, look no further for a satisfying lunch!!
**N.B. I apologize for the poor picture quality. As gnomes have misplaced my camera cord (yes, gnomes - I have an infestation. They misplace things of mine all the time... my phone, bobby pins, etc.), I was forced to text this picture to my email and upload it, hence the poor quality of my cell phone camera (although it does add a certain "retro" flavor to the blog, it's very "MySpace 1999...")**
Anyway... My first delicious taste of a dish similar to this was on Orient Beach, St. Maarten. My mom and I were wandering down the beach (on the top ten list of worlds most beautiful beaches, fyi!), starting to get hungry when we spotted a little hut built right into the sand. When I say "hut," I mean "hut." This little place was no more that 15 feet x 15 feet square, with the ground floor open to the breeze, and the upper deck without railings or chairs, just little pillows for sitting (Moroccan style!). We sat on the upper deck, ordered something we couldn't pronounce and waited. What we got was something that resembled chopped chicken and apples in a curry sauce, served in a pita. It. Was. Delicious!! ever since then, I have been trying to re-create it at home, and I have officially come up with the perfect recipe =)
Like I said before, this is a balanced meal (food from every color and food group), and its filling! Imagine that... healthy food that's actually filling within one serving size! Woohoo! Alert the media!! So here's what I do:
2 Chicken breasts, chopped
1 splash of EVOO
2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped
1 handful of Raisins
1 cup Celery, chopped
1.5 cups Almonds, crushed
4 Tbsp Low-Fat Mayo or Mayo Substitute
4 Tbsp Curry Powder (buy 2 little Tampico packets, only $1.75 as opposed to the $145.76 jars on the spice aisle!)
What I do:
1. Saute chopped Chicken Breasts in a splash of EVOO and 2 tbsp Curry Powder until the pieces are no longer pink in center, set aside.
2. In medium size mixing bowl, combine Mayo and remaining 2 tbsp Curry Powder until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add the cooked Chicken, chopped Apples, Raisins, Almonds, and Celery to the curried-Mayo and mix well with spatula. Refrigerate.
THREE steps?! AWESOME!! For me, texture is key; that's why I love the crunchy/chewy nature of this recipe. Its totally versatile as well. Don't like raisins? Leave them out, or substitue another dried fruit of similar size. Hate celery? Try subbing cauliflower in its' place! There's a million ways to do it, just pick your favorite.
Here's the best, Best, BEST part for me: this recipe makes 7 (that's right S-E-V-E-N) huge sized portions. That's one for every day of the week! Here's another kicker: each serving had only 247 measly little calories! Add a 100 calorie sandwich roll (I recommend 100% Whole Wheat Oroweat Sandwich Thins-find them in the bread aisle), pita, or tortilla (or two!), and you've got yourself a filling lunch for only 350 calories! Who doesn't love that?? Everyone can get behind a meal that's easy to prepare, lasts all week (without getting mushy, whoohoo!), tastes great, and is great for you!
I make it at least twice a month, and it never gets old because you can change it up every single time! Got kiddos? Try packing all the ingredients in their lunch separately and asking them to mix it together in the cafeteria. Send a tortilla with them and voila! Instant healthy lunch-able with about half the calories for about half the price, and double the nutrition!
Add in your favorite veggies, or dried fruits and let me know what you think! Ladies and Gents, I give you Curried Chicken Salad! And that is what's on our Kitchen Table for Two tonight!!