Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad

Last time we left off with an ode to plain chicken, and the many different split-second wardrobe changes it can make in your freezer over the course of the week/month for easy meals that never get old. So, how about we talk about an example of such an exciting, quick meal that utilizes these pre-cooked chicken recipes? How genius, you say? Well, I'm glad you think so!

Let's get one thing straight: I never liked protein-centered salads very much - you know, egg, tuna, chicken. I honestly just thought they looked a little goopy, sometimes smelled a little funny, and didn't really deliver in the flavor department, unless you like a whole lot of mayo. Which, I don't know, there are weirder things to like. Anyway, what I do like is to make my own chicken salad. I've talked about this twice before, but that was a long time ago.

This Chicken Waldorf Salad is my version of a light, creamy-with-the-occasional-crunch, sweet-yet-savory chicken salad. No mayo in sight, thank you very much. (As a side note, I really don't dislike mayonnaise that much. In fact, I find it pretty tasty. But I don't keep it in the fridge, so therefore I don't use it pretty much ever anymore.) Instead of the mayo, I use any combination of yogurt and sour cream - low or non fat, bien sur. I also throw in some veggies and healthy nuts, topple it over a nice bed of lettuce, and, if I so choose, round it out with some whole wheat pita (though this last part is, of course, not necessary).

I've held off writing about this ever since my neighborhood turned into the new Antarctica, feeling obligated to share heartier casseroles or baked goods with you instead. But I just ate chicken salad last week (not this one - a different one, which is a whole other story not to be delved into at the moment), thus abolishing my own conception that this is a warm weather meal. Au contraire, it's a very nice option for a filling (but not overly-so) meal, any time of year.

Chicken Waldorf Salad
Yield: 1 serving

The Ingredients
3/4 - 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
3 tablespoons plain or vanilla greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
8 grapes, quartered
1 segment green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 - 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
salt and pepper, to taste
lettuce / salad greens, to serve
whole wheat pita, cut into wedges, to serve (optional)

The Method
In a small-medium bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, and lemon juice, and mix well. Add in the chicken, grapes, pepper, and walnuts, and stir to incorporate fully. Season with salt and pepper and serve over the greens.

Could that be any easier? And it has everything: lean protein, some fruit, some veggies, low/non fat dairy, some fiber and whole grain if you go the pita route. Plus, it's delicious, and that's really what we're after, right?

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