Guilt Free Chicken Salad, Take One

I was never a fan of those mayonnaise-based salads: chicken, potato, macaroni, you name it. I feel like it's this calorie-laden, not very interesting mess of ingredients parading as light and healthy. However, that does not mean that I dislike chicken salads. Au contraire! Here, I present to you one of two salads I made tonight using grilled chicken that the head of the household had grilled early on in the day.

This chicken salad is yogurt-based, adding those super probiotics, vitamins, and minerals without the fat (unless you like whole fat yogurt, that is). It tastes light, which is perfect for days as hot and muggy as it was today, yet it is one of the furthest things from bland I have ever tasted. The sauce actually reminds me a lot of the tzatziki I made a little while back, and as I suspected back then, it does pair excellently with chicken.

I think I've mentioned before how much I enjoy non-dinner meals, because I feel so free to experiment. It doesn't matter if I botch something, because it's just for me. I don't have to worry about feeding anyone else (usually, until L coerces me into making something for with him). This is proof of that, and you could easily do something similar. All I did was take chicken, some vegetables I had on hand, and a sauce full of flavors that sound like they would work together. For the sauces, all you need to do is add ingredients little by little, building on the flavors until you reach the taste you're going for. Trust me, I'm no Top Chef, so anyone can do this - especially with practice.

What's more, aside from cooking the chicken, this recipe goes from zero to in your belly in seconds (okay, minutes) flat, and would take little extra time to double or quadruple to suit your needs. I highly recommend trying it out, or at the very least using it as inspiration for an unconventional, healthier chicken salad of your own.

Tzatziki Chicken Salad
Yield: 1 serving
The Ingredients
1/2 C (approx.) cubed, grilled chicken
1/8 C red bell pepper, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 C (approx.) salad greens (I used a combination of a packaged romaine mix and spinach)
2-3 Tbsp. plain or vanilla fat free yogurt*
1/2 - 1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried dill
The Method
1. Combine the first three ingredients in a small or medium bowl.
2. Combine the last three ingredients in a separate, small bowl. Adjust flavorings for taste.
3. Add the sauce to the meat and veggie mixture, and stir up to fully incorporate.
4. Serve over the salad greens, and enjoy!

*Note: I used regular 'ole Dannon vanilla low fat yogurt, but this produced a pretty thin, sweet sauce. Next time, I will definitely try either a vanilla or even plain greek yogurt (fat free) to change the consistency.

After this, I put together a Thai-inspired (in my brain, anyway) peanut chicken salad to bring with me to work tomorrow. I will absolutely post the "recipe" for that, as well, but I didn't take a picture before packaging it up, so I won't make any promises on the beautiful imagery front. In the meantime, give this a shot! Pull out some fridge or pantry items, and see where they take you. The absolute worst that can happen is that you botch a recipe, and know how to change it for the better next time around.

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