Simply Healthy (and Yummy) Chicken Salad

Spring is (almost) here, and I’m all about the slightly warmer weather and the bursts of sunlight starting to peek through the Northwest clouds. There’s something extra special about that shift, and the newness, too: spring is always full of so many opportunities and dreams. It feels like a clean slate — and it’s nice to take a deep breath, isn’t it?

One of my favorite things about spring also is making healthy living easier, especially if it involves simple food that can be easily packed up for a picnic at the park. One of my very favorite recipes is this Everyday Chicken Salad with homemade avocado mayo. Full of flavor and truly delicious, a great chicken salad is a recipe that everyone should have in their back pocket. If you really want to embrace it, pack this chicken salad with a bottle of rosé and a picnic blanket, and enjoy your day. After all, we all deserve a little more of that.

The Everyday Chicken Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium organic chicken breasts
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved, or ½ medium green apple, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • Juice of ¼ lemon ¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • ½ cup Homemade Avocado Mayo (recipe follows)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove the chicken from the oven, and let cool before slicing or shredding.

In the meantime, mix together all the remaining ingredients in a bowl, adding a generous amount of sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken, and mix until well-combined. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

HOMEMADE AVOCADO MAYO

Makes ¾ cup

This is a versatile recipe to have around, without the low-grade canola or soybean oil that’s found in most store-bought mayonnaise. It keeps well in the fridge for up to one week. Add 1 avocado (peeled and pitted), juice of ½ lemon, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and ½ teaspoon sea salt to a blender or food processor and process, then slowly add ⅓ cup olive oil as the machine runs until the mixture thickens. Add more lemon juice, if desired. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

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