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A Healthier Twist

On A Lunchtime Classic: Chicken Salad

With just a little creativity and a few fresh ingredients, it can be easier than you think to lighten up your favorite dishes and satisfy your cravings. Full of flavor and texture, creamy chicken salad is a tried and true lunchtime favorite that can easily receive a healthier twist, without compromising on flavor.

In most chicken salad recipes, you have two basic components: cooked, diced, chilled chicken, and a creamy dressing (typically mayonnaise based) that binds the salad ingredients all together. Because of the mayo that is used, chicken salad often packs more fat and calories than you'd expect. By using dressing of plain non-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise, however, you can instantaneously lighten up the dish, while maintaining the creamy, indulgent texture that chicken salad is so well known for.

Combine the yogurt with healthy ingredients like Dijon mustard and seasonings or fresh herbs like basil, black pepper, dill and curry powder for even more sensational flavor. With lean, protein-rich chicken tossed in a jazzed-up yogurt sauce, you've got a healthy base that can be easily enhanced with some nutritious produce favorites. Check out the list below for a few fresh ideas:

Celery

A source of vitamins and minerals, celery is a low calorie veggie that's unbelievably refreshing due to its high water content. And because the most delicious—and satisfying—recipes bring together a variety of contrasting and complementary ingredients, celery is the perfect pick when it's crunch that you crave. Add diced celery to your salad and enjoy!

Grapes

Crisp and sweet, red seedless grapes satisfy the sweet tooth, and are the perfect balance to ingredients often found in light and savory chicken salad. Halve them up and add them to the mix. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in grapes are believed to help protect the body from a variety of diseases!

Bell Pepper

With their tangy taste and fantastic crunch, finely diced bell pepper is a great way to add bursts of color and flavor to chicken salad. As a source of vitamins C and A, pick your favorite colored pepper for a chicken salad that's sure to satisfy.

Piled high on a bed of nutrient-rich salad greens, or sandwiched between two slices of hearty, fiber-rich whole grain bread, a lightened-up version of chicken salad is fantastic for lunch or supper. It's easy to enjoy chicken salad with all of the taste, and without all of the guilt!

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Key Terms in This Article
vitamin A - Helps eye health (including seeing normally in... more >
vitamin C - fights colds and flus by boosting the immune... more >
antioxidants - counteract the oxidizing (burning) effects of... more >
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