Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quick, use it or lose it!

Occasionally I run into a situation in which I need to use perishable foods before, well, they perish.  This is usually the result of over-ambitious dinner planning plus laziness ("This week I'll make dinner every night!" followed by "I'm too tired tonight, can you eat leftovers instead?").  The following recipe came from a situation like this - I ended up needing to use a pound of chicken breast before it went bad!  I browsed some chicken salad recipes on the web and chose two to guide me in the the flavors and/or amount of different components to use.  The Fancy Schmancy recipe inspired me to include apple cider and vinegar while the Chicken 'n Apple recipe helped me to determine the amount of ingredients to use.  Though both recipes looked good, I had to improvise a bit based on what was hiding in my fridge and cabinets.  Somehow, from all of this, a pretty decent (and healthy) chicken salad emerged!

Impromptu Chicken Salad (guided by the recipes listed above)

1 lb chicken breast
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup light Miracle Whip
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 Fuji apple, chopped into small chunks

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Add chicken breast and boil until no longer pink in the center (I can't remember how long this took...maybe 10-15 minutes?); remove from pan and set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar and honey; whisk together until mixed.  Add red onions and set aside to marinate.  In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, Miracle Whip and mustard; mix to combine and set aside.

When chicken has cooled, cut into small cubes or shred using a fork and knife.  Add chicken to yogurt mixture and toss to completely coat.  Add onions (including marinating liquid), cranberries, pistachios and apples; mix thoroughly.

Makes 6 servings, approximately 210 calories per serving

Chicken salad is a healthy lunch option!

I served this to Jim on toasted sourdough (verdict = good) and I have enjoyed it as a topping on an avocado half or as a sandwich on a multi grain skinny bun!

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