Sunday, February 23, 2014

Paleo Curried Chicken Salad


Confession time. When I shop at Trader Joe's I often grab something that makes me a big fat paleo "cheater."

While you might be envisioning some cookies or cereal, my straying is a little less indulgent and fun. I'm a sucker for their curried chicken salad. It's a little spicy and a little sweet. Has just the right combination of textures (thanks to cashews, raisins and carrots). It's not too slimy, as I often find to be the case with store-bought chicken and tuna salads. Also, it's pretty cheap and easy.

In the scheme of things I don't see this truly as a horrifying cheat. It's not a horrific lunch to have in a pinch: pretty high in protein and doesn't have any unpronounceable ingredients. The first ingredient is chicken. The second, however, is mayo made from soybean oil.

I actually was never a big mayo person, even before going paleo. I never would have dreamed of making it myself, as it just wasn't a condiment I needed to have. I've since learned, though, that homemade mayo is pretty darned easy and much tastier than the white paste in the jars.

So today I decided to make my own version of my favorite Trader Joe's salad. I used a rotisserie chicken to make things easier, but any cooked and chopped chicken would work. Obviously tweak the amount of curry to suit your tastebuds. If you want a really yellow salad, add some turmeric. I was out and frankly didn't care about the color of my lunch…

I added the honey after the caveman said the salad was missing the sweetness of the TJ's one. It tasted great without it, but I did actually find the added touch of sweet balanced the curry nicely.

Paleo Curried Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes or bite-size pieces
1/4 cup homemade paleo mayo
3 minces green onions
1/2 medium apple, chopped small
2 large celery stalks, chopped
3 tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
juice-sweetened dried cranberries & raw cashew pieces (small amount, use your discretion)
2 tsp. honey (optional)

Put chicken in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.

4 comments:

  1. That's funny, Susan. I've had my eye on that TJ's salad for weeks and several times now, I've picked it up, and put it back. Like you wrote, the ingredients are all recognizable but I try to stay away from pre-packaged food especially those containing soybean oil. Anyway, I have no need to try it now with your great recipe! Thank you!

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    1. There are worse things you could eat, but this is much healthier & so much tastier too!

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