Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Apple

I’m not the best when it comes to eating leftovers. I used to avoid them entirely, but now I can usually eat the same thing for dinner two days in a row–max. I’m even worse at repurposing food. You know those people who can turn a Thanksgiving turkey into southwestern turkey fajitas the next day and turkey vegetable soup the next? Well I’m not one of those people. I think it’s just how my brain works—I can hardly picture what else an already-cooked food could be besides what it currently is. (Incidentally, this is also how I dress: I have a bunch of outfits (growing up my mom called them “uniforms”), but I get lost when I try to put a particular top with a different pair of pants.)

So that’s why I’m so proud of this awesome chicken salad I made for lunch yesterday. I’m posting it here to give you inspiration more than an actual recipe since chicken salad is so versatile. If I can do it you can do it. The chicken, believe it or not, is leftover from Sunday night’s feast. (This is the part where I pat myself on the back.) At the time I didn’t realize I was doing myself a huge favor, but I separated the chicken from the sauce when storing it in the fridge. Yesterday while folding laundry it occurred to me: Slice the chicken off the bone and make chicken salad! (I had THREE giant chicken breasts leftover from Sunday that I couldn’t bring myself to throw out and yet, as delicious as it was, couldn’t stand to eat for dinner again.)

The white wine and tarragon flavors made the chicken salad especially bright and tasty. When making chicken or tuna salad, I typically add a tablespoon or so of Dijon mustard to capture that very same zing. After cutting up the chicken, I opened my fridge and threw in whatever ingredients I could find: A little bit of mayo, sliced red grapes, a quarter of a pink lady apple, and LOTS of freshly ground black pepper. (Some chopped scallions would have been great for color, crunch, and a certain bite, but it’s not something I typically keep on hand.) I served the chicken salad over a bed of baby spinach with a few of my new obsession: Mary’s Gone Crackers Original Crackers.  It was a super easy, healthy, and protein-packed lunch that kept me full all the way through the afternoon and yoga.

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