January 9, 2008

Healthy Meal: Apple Chicken Salad Sandwich

I know I’ve been really lax about posting healthy meals lately. I’ve eaten out a few times, eaten leftovers other times, and just plain gotten lazy and not written a post the rest of the time! I do have the pictures saved, so expect me to catch up and provide a lot of great meals over the next few days. Today I’m going to start by posting a lunchtime treat from Monday: apple chicken salad on whole wheat mini pita bread.

Apologies for the picture sucking; it was taken at my desk with my PDA camera, while trying not to let my manager see πŸ™‚ Also, the styrofoam plates we have at work don’t really help with the color…

The chicken salad recipe calls for ranch dressing. I never buy storebought dressing, so I looked up a recipe to make my own. That in turn called for buttermilk, which I didn’t have on hand and didn’t want to buy just to use two tablespoons of it, so I found a substitution on The Chef’s Thesaurus (truly an invaluable resource if you’re like me and are cooking for one, and therefore always have leftover ingredients to use before you buy new special things).

Buttermilk notes/recipe:
Mix two tablespoons milk with 1/8 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (I picked vinegar). Let it sit out for 10 minutes, then stir.

Ranch dressing notes:
I used vanilla soy yogurt instead of plain, because it’s what I had, and I also thought the sweetness would be a nice flavor to add (I was right!). I didn’t strain the yogurt as they recommend, but I wanted it to be a bit thinner anyway to coat the chicken, and when I finished I thought it was the perfect consistency anyway, so I think I’d always skip that step. I used light mayonnaise. I used dried chives instead of fresh. Fresh would of course make it better, but it was fine. I also put in way too much garlic when I was trying to cut the recipe down to make less, but I remedied it by adding more yogurt and “buttermilk” and making the recipe a bit bigger.

Chicken salad notes:
I used Swanson’s White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast In Water instead of regular grilled chicken breast. I thought it would make a more chicken salad-y consistency (like tuna salad). Plus I have two cans of it that I got a while ago that I wanted to use up πŸ™‚ It definitely added a good bit of sodium to the recipe that you wouldn’t have if you grilled chicken yourself, but it wasn’t that bad and it made the recipe a lot easier because I didn’t have to grill the chicken, cool it, then chop it. I used red onions because I wasn’t quite sure what they meant by “sweet onions,” but I know red onions are sweeter than yellow, and those were the two options in my fridge. I didn’t put any salt in, and I served it by stuffing two mini whole-wheat pitas with it.

Nutrition info:
121 calories for the ranch dressing (recipe here)
173 calories for the apple chicken salad before you put the dressing on (recipe here)
110 calories for the two mini whole wheat pitas

Review: 5/5
This was EXTREMELY filling. Honestly, I probably could have stopped after one of the pitas and eaten only half of the salad I made, but it was really delicious so I just kept going! The apples and the vanilla yogurt gave a great sweetness to this, and it was just so fresh-tasting. And low-cal! Amazing. My only complaint is that the pita kind of fell apart a little bit as I ate it, so I made a bit of a mess, but that’s totally my fault and not the recipe. This is going to become a staple in my lunchtime repertoire!


1 thought on “Healthy Meal: Apple Chicken Salad Sandwich”

  1. This sounds very good … I’m going to try it!

    PS — I am a manager and would think it was a little strange (but okay) if someone on my team photographed their lunch. It’s a funny mental picture … thanks for the smile! πŸ™‚

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