This weekend we had some new neighbors that moved in beside us. Even though we have had a pretty busy couple of days, I kept thinking we needed to go introduce ourselves, and I knew I wanted to make something for them. Since I was short on time, I decided to take an idea from my mother in law and make some good ol chicken salad for them.
When we were moving into our house a couple of years ago, my MIL showed up with a loaf of bread and chicken salad, and it was simply perfect! It was so nice to have something to throw in the fridge that we could snack on or have for lunch while were in the unpacking/organizing process. Chicken salad also seems appropriate right now considering this super hot July we are having here in Tennessee.
I threw a pack of crackers in the bag and Voila, I’ve got an easy and thoughtful “welcome to the neighborhood” gift! This would also be a helpful gift for a new mom or someone recovering from a surgery or illness. Plus, you can double this recipe and have plenty leftover for your family as well, that’s a win-win in my book!
Be sure to scroll on down to the bottom of this post for these Quick Chicken Salad Melts!
Classic Pecan Chicken Salad
2 lbs chicken breasts
1 cup halved green grapes
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
3/4 cups roughly chopped pecans, toasted*
3/4 cups mayo (light, if desired)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Fill a large pot half way full of water and bring to a boil. Place the chicken breasts into the boiling water. You may add seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper if desired to the water.
Boil the chicken, covered, for 20-30 minutes depending on how big the breasts are. Remove from the water and allow the chicken to cool, and then shred it with your hands or using two forks.
In a larger bowl, toss the chicken together with the grapes, celery, and pecans.
In separate bowl whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, dijon, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and stir until the salad is completely coated.
*To toast the pecans, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until they begin to smell nutty.
Check out these Chicken Salad Melts we had last night for dinner with the remaining chicken salad. Place a few slices of bread on a sheet tray, scoop some chicken salad on each one, top each with a slice of cheese, and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, top with a fresh tomato, and dinner is served!
Well, it’s that time of year again! Kids are back in school, and lunch packing has begun. I came up with this recipe to give you a fun idea for school lunches, but they are great for adults too…just ask my husband!
I used to love opening my lunch box to find something other than the typical turkey sandwhich, and these would definitely be an unexpected treat for lunch. You can even make these the night before, so no rushing to fix something before work and school.
Turkey, Bacon, and Cheese Pinwheels
Makes 8 Pinwheels
Two- 8 or 10 in Whole Wheat Tortillas (Burrito Size), at room temperature
2 tsp Lemon Juice
4 Slices Bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
6 Turkey Slices
2 Slices of Swiss cheese (or any cheese you have on hand)
Mash Avocado in a bowl until slightly chunky, and then stir in lemon juice.
Spread the Avocado mixture evenly on 2 tortillas, leaving an inch around the perimeter of each tortilla.
Sprinkle on chopped bacon evenly, and then place tomatoes on the top half of the tortillas.
Next add the turkey and cheese evenly on top, be careful not to pile up the ingredients too much in one spot, this will make the tortillas harder to roll up.
Begin rolling the tortillas tightly and wrap the rolled tortilla in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or the night before.
Once chilled, cut the ends off of each roll up, and cut each one into 2 inch sections, this should give you 4 pinwheels from each wrap.
So to go along with my 5 tips to be Healthy and Thriving in 2014 post, I wanted to show you how quick and easy it can be to make your own salad dressing along with a tasty salad recipe. It takes about 2 minutes!
Instead of using the store bought dressings, full of ingredients you can’t even read, shake up your own vinaigrette. Once you realize how easy it is to make your own salad dressings, you may never go back! And once again, by doing it yourself you can use real ingredients and control the sugar, salt, and fat content. Many times the “low fat” or “fat free” store bought dressings are loaded with salt and sugar, not to mention all of the preservatives. My simple Mason Jar Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe is a good template to follow for whatever kind of vinaigrette you like. My answer to getting healthy, cook your own real food, it works wonders!
Apple Spring Mix Salad with Mason Jar Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup Canola Oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
For the Salad
Bag of Spring Mix
1 chopped apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese or feta
For the Dressing, add all of the ingredients to the jar, close the lid tightly and shake vigorously until well combined. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
For the salad, combine all of the ingredients together and toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing. I like to reserve some of the “add ins” to top the salad with.
I am thrilled to announce that my first cookbook, "The Outdoor Table," published by Thomas Nelson Published is available to purchase wherever books are sold! This beautiful book includes 175 EXCLUSIVE recipes, not found on this site, perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining! Find out more and order your copy here...
Hey Y'all! Well I'm a southern gal, raised in Tennessee, where I still live with my husband and baby boy! Creating fresh and simple recipes with a southern flare, while sharing bits of my life with y'all on camera is what this site is all about. Also, my very first cookbook with Thomas Nelson Publishers will be out Spring of 2015, and I just can't wait to share it with you all! Read more about April...