I was looking to make us a delicious lunch today, that was not only scrumptious, but also fairly healthy. Todd and I both are on medication for high cholesterol and I am a diabetic, so eating healthier is the order of the day around here most days. It is a real pain getting older, but then again its a blessing as so many people don't get the chance to do just that.
This means using low fat ingredients, and avoiding butter, cheese and fatty meats. No frying etc. You know the drill. Boring . . . when you take the fat and fun out of food, you also take out a lot of the flavour. You have to get it back in there somehow . . .
Going low choleserol is not an easy change to make when you have a man who loves buttered toast with cheese in the evenings, and tinned corned beef sandwiches on buttered bread for lunch.
I had a jar of mostarda di frutta that I had picked up at the store probably about six months ago. A pricey little item, and something that I had not yet used. I also had some cooked chicken bits that I wanted to use up, so today I decided to make him a somewhat healthy chicken salad for his lunch.
I used lots of celery and toasted pecans for crunch. I thought the mostarda di frutta would add some interest and a bit of hot sweetness to the mix. It was a fabulous addition . . . I used the plum and orange. I only added a minimum of mayo, and I used the ultra low fat version at that . . .
We were very pleased with the results. Todd really enjoyed this. Of course you could add not so good for you ingredients . . . like chopped grilled bacon or chopped hard boiled egg . . . but in this instance we didn't really miss them.
Chopped apple is also very good in this, or even chopped mustard pickle or chutney.
A delicous chicken salad, filled with flavour, crunch and little surprises!
For the salad:
250g package of cooked chicken breast bits
(about 2 cups)
2 stalks of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
2 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped
a small handful of pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
two fruits from a bottle of mostarda di frutta, chopped
a drizzle of the syrup from the bottle
several dollops of mayonnaise
salt and black pepper to taste
lettuce leaves for serving
a few toasted pecans for garnishing
If your chicken is in large bits, cut it into smaller bits, about 1/2 inch cubes. Place into a bowl along with the remaining ingredients, adding only enough mayonnaise to moisten. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Arrange some lettuce leaves attractively on two chilled salad plates. Divide the chicken salad equally between the plates, placing it on top of the lettuce leaves. Garnish with some chopped toasted pecans if desired.
Note - this also makes a delicious sandwich filling. If you cannot get the mostarda di frutta you can use mustard piccali, if you wish, or you can use a half of an apple, cored and chopped. Leave the skin on for colour. This adds a touch of sweet and crunch.