Cooking for the Frugal

By on April 24, 2013

The other day I was feeling a hankering for one of my favorite foods: chicken salad. I heard about a restaurant in Homewood that had a chicken salad to die for, so I popped over to try it. I was very disappointed in what was delivered to me. The salad was adorned with grapes, pecans and cranberries, and way too much mayonnaise. This chicken salad didn’t even taste like chicken due to the overpowering mayonnaise flavor.

Avacado chicken salad is tasty and even better for you. InspiredMe.org

Avacado chicken salad is tasty and even better for you. InspiredMe.org

I grew up with chicken salad being the simplest of recipes: chicken, a TINY bit of mayo, and celery with salt and pepper. What happened to the world that fruit and mayonnaise became so important that chicken is barely the feature of the salad for which it’s named?

If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I am not a big supporter of mayonnaise, since it’s the only condiment that’s main ingredients are not a fruit or a seed. Mustard is made from mustard seeds and various spices. Ketchup is made from tomatoes. Mayonnaise’s main ingredients are sugar, eggs, oil, and vinegar. Your average tablespoon has 10 grams of fat.

Want to take a guess at how many grams are in a serving of mustard and ketchup? Zero grams.

Sadly, most restaurants serve their chicken with large quantities of this goo. So what’s a health nut to do? This little tid bit is mind blowing so be prepared. Switch out the mayonnaise for avocado. Yes, avocados are actually an incredibly tasty and healthy alternative to mayonnaise.

Avocados promote blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular health,, are an amazing source for your daily serving of fats (the healthy kind), help prevent against some cancers, are an amazing source for your, and there’s more but I feel you get the drift. Avocados: good. Mayonnaise: bad.

Mayo-less Chicken Salad
What you’ll need:
-two or three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-one avocado
-1/4 of an onion, chopped (I’m not a huge fan of the onion taste so I use two celery limbs instead for that crunch factor)
-juice of half a lime
-cilantro (you can buy fresh cilantro or already chopped cilantro)
-salt and pepper to taste

First, turn your stove top to medium heat and place a pot with water on the eye. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, wash off your chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. When the water comes to a boil, plop the breasts into the water and let them cook in the water.

When your chicken breasts are cooked thoroughly, drain the chicken, place on a paper towel, and let them cool.

Once the chicken is cool, shred the breasts with your hands or a fork.

Next, combine all of your other ingredients in a bowl and mix them together until the avocado is thoroughly mashed and everything is mixed together evenly. Add the shredded chicken and mix together. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it! That’s the final step in your chicken salad recipe. Admit it: that was the easiest chicken salad recipe you’ve ever seen. All that’s left is to take a generous serving, sit down, turn on Netflix, and enjoy.

Michelle Love
Contributor
mlove221@uab.edu

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