Hello summer! The months of scorching heat and unbearable humidity have begun so it's no wonder no-cook meals are popular. Many people, myself included at one point, can't imagine a hearty, satisfying meal that doesn't require heat. That's far from the truth. There are plenty of fantastic dishes you can make that don't require a heated appliance. Salads, for example, are what you make of them. A few leaves won't fill you up but if you add some leftover chicken or steak and plenty of veggies, it will fill you up easy. It's all about keeping an open mind.
Chicken Salad is a simple, classic no-cook recipe that almost everyone loves. It falls into the tuna and egg salad category as a lunch staple. Light yet satisfying, it has everything you need from protein to fiber. A lot of recipes are packed with mayo though and as much as I love mayo, I've also cut back on dairy in the last year. Enter, Vegenaise. I was the biggest skeptic when my dairy-free friend told me about it. It sounds like a science experiment. Well, maybe it is but it tastes pretty darn good.
There isn't a significant difference between Vegenaise and your standard mayo nutritionally but they're there. Vegenaise is dairy-free, GMO-free, lower in cholesterol and fat and also contains an extra boost of Omega 3's which is a huge benefit. I have to say, I might be an official convert! Another trick to lightening up your chicken salad is to use avocado. I recently shared a pasta salad recipe whereI used the same method. Avocados are in season right now and they add an extra depth of flavor and richness to any dish, especially when used in the "sauce." And no, you can hardly tell it's there. My biggest avocado-hater loved this salad.
A downfall of chicken salad is that it can get all over the place. By the time you sit down for lunch you have soggy bread and a mess in the sandwich bag. Luckily, Box Appetit sent a few complimentary products for us to try out to make lunch a breeze. The Box Appetit lunchbox was an ideal solution to the overflowing chicken salad sandwich. There's a little insert in a bowl-type design that kept the sandwich nice and snug and left room available for a fresh fruit salad. The design is great for picky eaters who don't like their food touching (aka, my whole family). The snug, air tight cover keeps everything extra secure and it fits nicely into a work bag or back pack. No more un-sandwiched chicken salads! Pair it with the Eau Good water bottle and you'll have yourself a hydrated, satisfying lunch hour.
CHICKEN SALAD CROISSANT SANDWICH
2 tbsp. Vegenaise
1/2 Avocado, diced and mashed
1 cup or 9oz. Cooked Chicken, chopped
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. Dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cucumber, diced
salt and pepper
1. Mix together Vegenaise and Avocado in a medium-sized bowl. Add chicken, celery, cherry tomoatoes, dill, cucumber and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well.
2. Slice a croissant carefully. They can be delicate. Add about 1/4 cup of the chicken salad to one half and close with the other. Serve.
Yields 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Have you tried Vegenaise? Are you a fan or do you prefer to stick with regular mayo? For more products to improve your lunch, visit the Box Appetit website. Check out my other lunch recipes while you're at it: Veggie Pesto Quinoa Bowl and Grilled Chicken with Italian Pasta Salad. Thanks again to Box Appetit for allowing us to try of a few of their great products!