Friday, April 15, 2011

Food For Thought

Do you have a food item that you love?  That you would eat on a daily basis?  That you scan the grocery weekly flyers to see if it's on sale?  That you do a little happy dance when you see that they have a 2/$1 sign next to them?  Yes, you do?  Me, too.

When I go to the grocery and see the giant mounds of avocados sitting in their bins, I can barely resist myself.  I love to chop them up to add to salads, mash them up to make guacamole, slice them for sandwiches (B.L.A.T., anyone?) and even just eat them with a spoon.  I have a friend who makes avocado toast for her kids in the morning ... and I want to go live with her.

So, upon browsing a recent Food Network Magazine, I spotted a recipe by Emeril with a picture of little avocado boats stuffed with chicken salad.  (insert lip-smacking sounds and drooling here)  Chicken salad AND avocados?  Yum!  Immediately, I dog-eared the page and set it aside to add to my weekly dinner menu.

After writing up my grocery list, I headed off to do my shopping.  Only to discover once I arrived in the produce department that the avocados were hard little black rocks for a terrifying $1.99 each.  Phooey.  No avocados this week.  Fortunately, as it turned out the chicken salad was rather delicious outside of the avocado boat.  And so, we enjoyed our meal anyway ... nestled between two slices of home-made bread, instead.

In reality, the two chicken salad recipes I am sharing this week have refreshed and rejuvenated my "tried-n-true" chicken salad ... much to the relief of my family.  So, even if you can't find an avocado out of which to eat your chicken salad, you might still enjoy a fresh take on an old favorite.  Or in this case, TWO fresh takes. :)

(For these two recipes, I cooked my chicken the day before, shredded it and popped it in the fridge for later use.  My cooking process of choice was boiling, but you could bake or grill ... or buy it from the deli!)

Emeril's Chicken Salad
(This recipe is tweaked from one found in the Food Network Magazine, April 2011.)

2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
3 avocados ... if your lucky!

1 cup mayo (you can also you 1/2 mayo and 1/2 sour cream)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 t. dijon mustard
3 celery stocks, finely chopped - including leaves
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 t celery seeds
1/4 t cayenne pepper

Combine the last seven ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Toss with chicken and mix well.  Add a little more mayo, if the salad seems too dry.  Serve in avocado halves or on a slice of your favorite home-made bread.  I made Peasant Bread and it was divine.

Lots of lovely green there ... even if it's avocado-free.

Aarti's Chicken Salad
(This recipe is tweaked from one found in the Food Network Magazine, April 2011.)

2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
3 T. orange marmalade
1 medium shallot, minced
1 green apple, diced
1 cup red grapes, halved
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (two small containers)
1 T. oil
1 t. mustard seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 t. curry powder
Fresh cilantro leaves

Toss together the shallot, apple. grapes, lime juice, yogurt 1/2 t. salt and marmalade.  Mix well and set this aside.  

In a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Carefully add the mustard seeds and garlic.  Quickly cover the pan so that those little seeds don't jump out and shoot all over your kitchen. :)  Not that I would know anything about that.  Carefully add the curry powder and then cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Pour this mixture over the yogurt mixture and stir well.

Add the shredded chicken to the creamy mixture and fold it together.  We served this salad topped with cilantro and with pitas on the side for scooping.

In all honesty, the kids were less-than-thrilled about this sandwich.  But who could blame them?  It wasn't until I was an adult that grew accustomed to having grapes and chicken in the same bite.  I, however, thought it was delish!

Creamy goodness with a hint of orange.

Emeril's Chicken Salad

Aarti's Chicken Salad


  1. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog today (SITS). These chicken salad recipes look yummy! i too do a happy dance when avocados are on sale :). can't wait to try these.

  2. I never used to like avocados until I got married... I have a blog post in my ideas that I want to post soon, and it is on chicken salad recipes! I may still post it, since one is different from yours... but now I want to try these!

  3. Stopping by from BloggyMoms to see your blog and say hello. Love what I'm seeing so far. :) I'm looking forward to reading more!

    For me...I'm all about the avacados. We used to live in Southern California where Avacados were a year round luxury and were always perfect. Then we moved to Western PA and I'm lucky to get the opportunity to indulge in my favorite food item throughout the year. So I'm thrilled that spring and summer are well on their way!



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