WRITTEN ON January 7th, 2011 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Chicken, Fruit, Grains, No really, what IS for lunch?, Nuts, Salads

I hold a very special place in my heart for chicken salad.   Growing up in Baltimore, it was a menu main stay for pretty much every occasion: bridal showers, baby showers, buffets, cocktail parties, tailgates.  Name an event and a Baltimoron will find a way to get chicken salad on the menu.

The perennial favorites hail from several local markets.  Eddie’s of Roland Park, Graul’s Market, and Donna’s Cafe. They’re delicious, but definitely not nutritious.

The problem with the chicken salad that is so often served at luncheons and teas is this: it’s chock full of mayonnaise, and it’s usually served on some sort of buttery vessel – croissants, buttered white bread (sans crust), mini-parker house rolls.  Which makes it public enemy #1 when attempting a New Year, New You attitude.

Nonetheless, when a girl gets a craving, there’s little stopping her.  In walks compromise. Sub low-fat Greek style yogurt for most of the fatty white stuff.  Add lots of healthy additions, like red grapes, scallions, fresh dill and smoked almonds. And serve it on a bed of lettuce or nutty, dense seven grain toast. You just might find you like it better than the original (but don’t tell the folks at Eddie’s).

You chicken?

Chicken Salad (serves 2)
1/2 lb leftover chicken breast (rotisserie, grilled, roasted, whatever!), cut into cubes
10 red grapes, cut into quarters
1 handful smoked almonds, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh dill, chopped fine
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup  low-fat Greek style yogurt
1 drizzle olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Season well and serve on lettuce leaves or multi-grain toast.

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