Chicken salad doesn’t have to be sandwiched between two slices of bread; it can go upscale and become a tasty wrap. One of the world’s oldest condiments, mustard, is used to give this Crunchy Chicken Salad a subtle punch. Mustard is made from the mustard plant seed which is dried and ground. Then, it is mixed with a liquid binder. Some mustard, like Dijon, is smooth and has a mild flavor. Other mustards are brown and spicy. The Germans enjoy spicy mustards, some of which have a rough texture because they are made with the whole mustard seeds. Many people know mustard as the bright yellow condiment that we use on hot dogs. The yellow color comes from turmeric, which adds its own flavor to that of the mustard. Don’t be limited in your choice of mustards! Experiment with something other than the bright yellow variety. This salad uses either spicy brown or Dijon, depending on how bold you want your mustard taste to be in the salad.
This light and fresh tasting chicken salad has a delightful crunch. Made with non-fat Greek yogurt and a reduced fat mayonnaise, it’s a good choice for people who are watching their fat intake. Some healthy omega-3 fatty acids are added by including walnuts. These walnuts, apples, and celery add fiber and crunch to the mix.
Crunchy Chicken Salad Recipe
2 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped (I used thighs, but this is good for any leftover cooked chicken.)
½ cup celery, coarsely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped apple
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup coarsely chopped red onion,(optional-You may leave it out or increase it according to taste.)
¼ cup mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise, since it is lower in fat.)
¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage brand.)
1½ tablespoons of spicy brown or Dijon mustard (Don’t use your yellow mustard in this!)
2 tablespoons of honey
½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon dried dill weed, rubbed between your hands
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste
For a change and a warmer flavor, add ½- 1 teaspoon of curry spice.
You might also want to add 2 tablespoons of chopped jalapeno peppers for some added heat.
In a large bowl, gently toss coarsely chopped chicken, celery, apple, walnuts, and red onion. After the ingredients are mixed, add mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, dill weed, pepper, and salt (if needed). Stir until just mixed. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to mix.
Use flour tortillas for the wraps. Whole wheat flour tortillas can add a bit of fiber. There are also flour type tortillas that have low carbs and high fiber. Look for them in the health food section of your grocery store. You may wrap with just the Crunchy Chicken Salad, or add vegetables for extra taste and nutrition. Thinly slice cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and shred some lettuce. Layer the thinly sliced vegetables on the tortilla in the middle. Spoon about 1/3 cup of Crunchy Chicken Salad over the vegetables and top that with shredded lettuce. Roll the tortilla up like a burrito.
To reduce your carbohydrate intake, you may choose to wrap the salad in lettuce leaves. Butter lettuce and Bibb lettuce work well, since they are pliable. Rinse the lettuce well and make sure that it is dry. Since it is fragile, handle it carefully to avoid tearing the lettuce. Add a small amount of Crunchy Chicken Salad to each leaf and roll it carefully.
Don’t stop with wraps. This is a good salad to serve on open-faced cracker sandwiches, too. I love the new nut thin crackers. They have a very satisfying crunch and texture. A scoopable tortilla chip works well as a tiny open-faced sandwich. You may also split a pita and stuff it with lettuce, tomatoes, and Crunchy Chicken Salad. The pita adds a yeasty undertone to the combination.
If you love your carbohydrates, eat this on good bread or rolls. A ciabatta roll is wonderful, as is a crispy hard roll. If fat isn't a problem for you, eat the salad on a croissant. For a change of pace, pair this salad with a hearty pumpernickel. Speaking of pears, you may exchange the apples for pears in the recipe!
The combination of chicken, low-fat condiments, spices, nuts, apples, celery and onion is a healthy blend of foods. It can be used for a light meal or easy snack. This salad is adaptable. You can please various members of your family by serving the salad in different ways. Crunchy Chicken Salad is as versatile as it is delicious.
When I mention products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products by name.
If you want to play with some wraps, this is the book for you. The author teaches us how to make wrappers to go with delicious fillings. This book is a practical way to make good use of your time as you prepare nutritious meals for your family.
Wrapping It Up!: Making Sensational, All Occasion Wraps