Healthier Chicken Salad

Seriously the best lightened-up chicken salad.

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I really hate lunch. I hate making it, I hate eating it. I find it a complete inconvenience. So it’s always been tough for me to come up with lunch ideas that I will actually want to make and eat. I’ve got work day lunches down. Leftovers, homemade soups and salads keep me fed Monday through Fridays, but on the weekends I’m always at a loss. It results in either picking up some sort of unhealthy high calories fast food, or just skipping lunch all together. Neither are good options in my book. In an effort to eat whole healthy food (80% or the time) I knew I had to try to find some new ideas for weekend lunches. This chicken salad recipe has ben added to the weekend rotation.

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I like lots of crunch in my chicken salad, so I load it with crunchy celery, crisp apples and a sweet pop from red grapes. I love the freshness it gives. I also like using pulled chicken breast instead of chopped. I prefer the texture of pulled chicken it really makes the chicken, fruit and celery stay together and prevents the filling of the sandwich from falling out. The dressing of this chicken salad is made with greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious but it isn’t your typical high fat, high calorie chicken salad.

Greek yogurt has tons of protein, combine that with chicken breast a delicious dressing and yummy add ins and you have a great high protein lunch. Skip the croissant and your lunch is even healthy…. but I highly recommend the croissant!

This recipe is a must try for lunch, or to put on a lunch buffet.

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Healthier Chicken Salad

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
  • 1/2 An Apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Half the Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast chicken for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cool slightly. Shred the chicken using two forks, or the mixer method. Place chicken in the fridge to cool completely.

Whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slice grapes, dice celery and apple.

Combine cold chicken, celery, apple, grapes and dressing and mix throughly.

Serve salad on bread, croissants or salad greens. If desired add lettuce or tomatoes to your sandwiches. Serve immediately or store in your fridge for 2 days.


Chicken Pot Pie

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My husband has been begging to make Chicken Pot Pie for months now, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make it during the hot summer months. This past Sunday the skies were grey and the air was cold. It seemed like the perfect day to finally make this delicious comfort food. And believe me it did not disappoint, he hasn’t stopped talking about how delicious it was!

Now I know Chicken Pot Pie can be a big intimidating since you have to make the crust, but really just remember to keep your dough cold and I promise you will be fine. Check out my tips for pie in this post.

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This recipe would also be perfect to make use of Thanksgiving leftovers. Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend and using all your leftover turkey in the pot pie would be delicious! It actually might be better then your turkey dinner.

This dish is also perfect when you need to bring someone a homemade meal. It’s perfect to bring a new mom ore someone who needs a little extra love. It’s warm and comforting and bring everyone a bit of joy. I hope you and your family enjoy it too.

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Chicken Pot Pie

Yields: 1 9 inch Pie

Ingredients:

Crust:

Crust:

  • 2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening, cold
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, cold
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons ice water
  • Egg, beaten

Filling:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced (2 large carrots)
  • 1/2 Cup Celery, sliced (2 stalks)
  • 1/3 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2/3 Cup Milk (I used 2%, but any kind will work)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped

Directions:

In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Add the cold butter and shortening. Cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks until the chunks of butter and shortening are the size of small peas.

Drizzle in the ice water and stir the mixture to bring the dough together. Continue to add water until the dough starts to clump and form a ball. Form the dough into a ball. Cut dough in half and form each half into discs. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 450°F. Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Set aside to cool.

In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the onions and garlic to the butter and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season onions and garlic with salt and pepper. Add carrots and celery, cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add flour to the pan to create a roux. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes to prevent the filling from having a floury taste. Slowly add chicken broth to the roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Once fully combined add the milk to the pan. Simmer the sauce until it become thick and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes.

Chop the cooled chicken breasts. Add the chicken, frozen peas and thyme to the sauce and stir to combine. Set mixture aside.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove your dough from the fridge. Roll out the pie dough into two discs. Carefully line your pie plate with one of the rolled out halves of dough. Pour the filling into the pie plate. Carefully place the top layer of dough on the filling. Using a fork or your fingers seal the edges of the pie dough. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg.

Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Set the pie aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Grandma’s Berry Pie and Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

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BBQ-less BBQ Chicken

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This is the best BBQ chicken I have ever had. They are tender and flavourful and you don’t even need a barbecue.

I use chicken thighs in this recipe since I’m convinced they are impossible to overcook. I also use a sheet pan with a baking sheet on it to crisp the outside of the thighs. This also renders off the excess fat in the thighs.

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You could also of course use your barbecue for this recipe, but I like the convenience of using the oven. Plus you can enjoy it year round!

So are you team barbecue or oven?

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup BBQ Sauce (my favourite)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan and grease the cooling rack with non stick spray.

Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Season the chicken thighs on both sides. Place chicken thighs on the cooling rack. Bake the the chicken thighs for 2o minutes, flipping half way through.

Remove chicken from the oven and baste the chicken thighs on one side with BBQ sauce. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and baste the other side of the chicken with BBQ sauce. Repeat the process two more times.

Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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The Best Chicken Marinade

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a staple in my house. There affordable, versatile and everyone likes them. The downside is that they can be quite bland, so I love to marinade and grill them. This recipe is for my favourite marinade, and it goes really well with these green beans.

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This marinade has lemon and dijon mustard as the main flavours. The marinade also has garlic and chilli flakes in it which give an extra boost of flavour.

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You can of course use this marinade on vegetables or another cut of meat, the flavours make it very versatile. I have also used this marinade and then baked the chicken in the oven. It is still delicious, but I love the charred smoky flavour that grilling gives.

Are chicken breasts a staple in your house?

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

 

Directions:

Mix marinade ingredients together. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least 1 hour, or a maximum of overnight.

Pre heat your grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken on each side for 7-10 minutes with the lid closed, or until the chicken reaches the internal temperature of 165°. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Inspired Taste