Creamy Cranberry Chicken Salad

Looking for a fun and simple summertime lunch idea? This chicken salad is perfect for an afternoon by the pool or to prep ahead for lunch throughout the week. I made this recipe for lunch this week and packed sliced cucumbers to use in replacement of crackers or bread. It only got better as the days progressed!

Typically, the base for most chicken salads or other simple salads such as egg salad is mayonnaise. For this chicken salad, I used a plain, fat free Greek yogurt to not only add a little tanginess, but also bump up the protein content a bit! I was so pleasantly surprised how well this salad kept for 5 days!

IMG_1610

IMG_1611

I used about 3/4 lb of chicken for this salad, but the recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd or to last a bit longer. I also used a pre-shredded chicken, but you can easily shred a small while chicken or cook 1-2 large chicken breasts, let them cool, and shred yourself.

I hope you give these easy and delicious summer recipe a try!! The weekend is right around the corner 🙂

IMG_1613

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch of pink salt
  • 1/2 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard

Directions

Chop onion and bell pepper into small, bite-sized pieces.

In a medium sized bowl, make sure chicken is shredded to the texture you like. Add all ingredients and stir until chicken is fully coated. Taste to see if further seasoning is needed. Keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.

 


Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

Hello everyone! I’m just sitting enjoy a hot cup of peppermint tea (tea is kind of my new nightly thing) and sort of dreading writing this. Not because the recipe isn’t fabulous (really, I think it is one of my recent bests!), more just because I am so exhausted and tired that I think I could fall asleep in 5 seconds if given a fluffy blanket and comfy pillow. BUT, as I said, this recipe I think may be one of my best, or at least up there with the best, so I feel like I need to share it sooner than later. I’m not necessarily a pasta salad fan, but this pasta salad was so good that I have had it for lunch for the past 3 days in a row……. and am planning on finishing it out tomorrow 🙂

What makes this pasta salad so fabulous? Not only is it creamy, flavorful, and pungent, but its also light and refreshing for the summer. There are a lot of flavors going on, but they all seem to meld perfectly! From the salty olives and bold feta cheese to the creaminess of the avocado and hearty whole wheat pasta, this pasta salad has a little something for everyone. With temperatures reaching the 100’s this week (yes, I’m finally experiencing my first Arizona summer…. please wish me luck), a hot meal is number 1 on my current list of top 10 most unappealing things. Regular salads are great, but let’s face it…. can get a little boring after the 7th day in a row. I really hope you try this flavorful, veggie-filled pasta salad. Don’t be afraid to experiment or add your own twist, but I do promise it is quite perfect the way it is! Enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

IMG_1259 IMG_1260

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 avocado, fairly soft
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • garlic powder (I didn’t measure the seasonings, sorry! add to your best judgement)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Salad:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta, I used penne
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olive without pits
  • black pepper

Add all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside while you prep your other ingredients. Cook your pasta until tender; at the last minute, throw in your chopped asparagus (make sure to chop off the woody, rough end, about 1-2 inches from the bottom). Allow your asparagus to cook for ~2 minutes in the boiling water, then drain both the pasta and asparagus. Set aside to cool.

Chop the rest of you ingredients, including the olives. I halved the olives, but feel free to chop as fine as you like or leave whole. Once pasta is no longer steaming, add the rest of your ingredients to a large bowl and pour in your dressing. Mix until all ingredients are fully coated. Finish with a little sprinkle of black pepper. Serve chilled or lukewarm. Pasta salad will stay good in the refrigerator for ~4-5 days; your avocado may just turn a little brown in color. Enjoy!