Hey, What’s Cookin’?
When the heat gets turned up, we look for cooler, lighter foods to enjoy for our lunches. Sandwiches naturally come to mind, but that bread (or bun, or wrap, or tortilla) can be a gut-buster and sabotage your weight loss efforts. Everyone likes it, but bread in any form is really not your BFF (best food friend).
Salads are also a natural for hot-weather meals. But we’re not talking about a boring bowl of leaves with some diet dressing. Nope, we’re talking about a MEAL in a bowl! Plenty of protein (in more than one form), lots of cool veggies, a couple varieties of sweet but lower-glycemic fruit, some raw nuts for crunch, protein & fat, and a creamy but healthy dressing that has just enough fat to help your body make the most of the vitamins in those fruits and vegetables!
If you’ve never tried cinnamon in a salad before, be sure to give it a try in my Chicken Crunch Salad! The cinnamon does a great job of complementing the apples and walnuts and gives the salad an updated taste profile. Plus, cinnamon is good for your blood pressure!
Chicken Crunch Salad
Adapted from a Davita recipe
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 1 Gala apple, peel left on, large dice
- 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced on diagonal
- 2 tbs scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup raw walnut pieces
- 1/3 cup Fage Plain Greek Yogurt 2% or Fage Total
- 1 tbs low-fat sour cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 bag baby arugula OR 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, & separated into individual leaves
- Combine chicken, apple, celery, scallions, grapes, and raw walnuts in a large salad bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, black pepper, and cinnamon.
- Pour the dressing over the chicken-apple mixture and toss well.
- Refrigerate chicken crunch salad 1-2 hours prior to serving.
- To serve: fill a salad bowl with baby arugula (for some super peppery zip!) and spoon chicken crunch salad over the top.
OR spoon some salad down the center of a single romaine leaf. Wrap the leaf edges over the filling and eat like a burrito!
Photograph via Allrecipes