Sunday, April 15, 2012

NO-CHICKEN SALAD

We all have that dish. A favorite meal that, no matter how hard we try, we just can't get out of our diets [okay, we're really not trying that hard]. One of mine is chicken salad. In the last few years the only time I indulged was when I either made it myself or visited my favorite restaurant, Marie Catrib's. However, within the last few months some of the main ingredients have rendered themselves either inedible for me [think eggs in the mayonnaise or soy in the vegenaise] or have intentionally found themselves outside of my "will eat" list, chicken being the main one here.

I won't bore you with a lot of detail but through much soul-searching, time, nutritional researching / reading, and a lot of conviction I have turned to a whole foods, plant-based diet.

I tell you this more as encouragement. Many of us have undergone [or are considering] dietary shifts. Foods we once loved and craved are now collecting dust on grocery store shelves we no longer visit. Through trial and error new foods have entered our palette and our taste-buds have warmed up to the idea of this edible shift.

Sometimes it's easy to look at yet another challenge and think "I really don't have the energy for this again". The busyness of life and the many voices hankering for our attention crowd out that small whisper in our soul that cheers "you can do it! you can make this change too!". Maybe that voice is saying find local, organic pasture raised meat and dairy products. Maybe it's telling you to give up meat and animal products completely. It could be begging you to replace those pre-packaged snacks [even if they are "healthy" ones] that have conveniently become snack time mainstays with whole fruits and vegetables. This voice might be pleading with you to ease up on the caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. And maybe it's simply urging you to find that next step in your health journey. Whatever it is for you, know that I am with that voice saying "Yes! You can do it!".

So, in honor of next steps, here is mine. A meatless, mayonnaise and vegenaise-less version of chicken salad from Super Natural Every Day. Thank you Heidi for helping me find a replacement for a much loved meal of mine and helping my "next step" feel a little lighter.           

[THE RECIPE]


Note: Heidi's recipe calls for yogurt which I replaced with soaked cashews and water. 

3 c. cooked chickpeas
1/3 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 tbsp. fresh dill or 2 - 3 tsp. dried dill
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 c. soaked cashews*
1 c. pure water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice and zest
2 c. salad greens
sliced gluten-free bread or gluten-free flat bread [optional]

Pulse 2/3 of the chickpeas in a high-powered blender or food processor until the peas are just broken. Place in a glass bowl and stir in the onion, celery, and dill. Set aside.

In a blender combine mustard, soaked cashews, just enough water to cover the cashews [appx. 1 cup], salt, lemon juice, and zest. Blend on high until very smooth.

Combine 2/3 of the cashew dressing with the chickpea mix. Add more if necessary to fully cover. Toss in remaining whole chickpeas and stir. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes.

Serve on gluten-free bread, flat bread, or a bed of salad greens.

2 comments:

Brad Trompen said...

Found your recipe looking for Marie Catrib's Mother Earth salad recipe and had to try this today for lunch. I doubled the celery and added about a cup of pinto beans... it was great and fixed my Marie Catrib's craving!!

TINA VANDERKLOK, MS, Holistic Nutrition, LEED-AP said...

I'm so glad you like it! I will have to try your modifications - they sound delicious!