I was recently reading through my blog and was astounded how often the start of my posts has something to do with the weather! Growing up in Southern California, the weather was so consistent, it really wasn’t news. Here in the Northeast, the weather often determines my food choices. It’s more than wanting to eat in season. It’s more like craving certain types of foods depending on the severity of the cold or heat. I love a recipe that’s adaptable for the seasons and this curried faux chicken salad is just that! It actually defies seasons by always being appropriate no matter what. I know, you sense a little black dress analogy coming along next, but I’ll spare you.
I get requests all the time from clients who are trying to eat less animal products, but like to pack a sandwich for lunch, for an alternative that will both nourish and fill them up. I taught this recipe in my classes earlier this year and it has gone on to become one of the most commented/photographed/appreciated recipes ever (right up there with the chocolate chunk skillet cookie).
Cannellini beans are loaded with antioxidants (read: help reduce the effects of stress, including sun damage, combat free-radicals which are cancer causing), are full of fiber (read: helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes + help keep your bowels regular), help with weight loss because of their ability to make you feel full, and are a good source of protein and iron as well.
One of the problems with traditional chicken or tuna salad is that it is usually made with mayo, which isn’t exactly a health food in my book….BUT, I do understand the need for some fat to bind all the ingredients together, add some moisture and some flavor. Enter the avocado. Another LBD reference would do nicely here—-when in doubt, the avocado is always a good choice. With all the nutritional benefits—-Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin E, minerals like Magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous—this is a fat worth choosing. Plus, the fiber in avocados neutralizes the carb count making this a low-carb friendly plant food.
Eating this faux chicken salad as a meatless entrée—-scoop onto a large green salad, make a sandwich or a wrap—–is an excellent way to fill yourself up rather than out, load up on nutrition and stay satiated for long after the meal is over. Curried faux chicken salad is super tasty, has just the right texture and is so versatile. Serve it stuffed inside endive or radicchio leaves as an appetizer, and even your non-vegan friends will appreciate it!
I was never much of a sandwich girl growing up. My old-fashioned grandmother didn’t pack sandwiches in our lunch boxes, we mainly ate leftover dinner for lunch. Hubby grew up on sandwiches though—PBJ, tuna fish, turkey, etc.—–and he absolutely adores this on a piece of toasted challah with lettuce. I prefer my faux chicken salad in a lettuce cup, but I’ve also had it in an almond flour wrap when I take it “to go” and it’s equally delicious.
It’s a quick recipe to pull together and I usually have all the ingredients on hand, making it an awesome “go to” for lunch or dinner!