Live Real. Eat Real.

Cheery Cherry Chicken Salad

I am busy, busy, busy today, so this will be brief (well…as brief as I am capable of).

While my attempt at Whole30 may have been lame (and there are those who would insist that is one of my defining characteristics), it did force me to think about what to cook and eat that has no dairy, alcohol or added sugar/sweeteners.  Since I don’t consume much dairy and prefer to drink my alcohol, those requirements didn’t phase me much.  However, that I have something of a sweet tooth is well established and the no added sugar, even in small amounts, was something that I really have a problem with.  Because what food isn’t improved by a touch of raw honey or a small drizzle of maple syrup?

Of course, this need to add sugar to EVERYTHING, whether it belongs there or not, is part of what has delivered us, as a society, into epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other “diseases of civilization.”  So even if I am not giving up delicious artisan goat cheeses and my nightly glass (or two) of wine, I am still avoiding natural sugars and stevia – I haven’t had any, at all, for a week and the longer I go without them the easier it is.  I am still adjusting to no sweetener in my tea and coffee, but food itself is becoming less and less of an issue.

Now, having said that, I don’t object to fruit in reasonable amounts.  And for overweight, insulin-resist me, “reasonable amounts” is a single serving two or three times a week (unless it’s watermelon which I’ll eat until it darn near makes me sick because I love me some watermelon).  At any rate, this dish was a lovely use of some sweet cherries I had in the fridge that were on the verge of becoming quite overripe, as well as some of the vegetables we received in our CSA box last week.  Bring on the summer salads.

Oh, and by the way – it is Oldest Son’s 28th birthday.  Happy Birthday, dear; I love you so much, I don’t even care that this means I’ll officially be ancient in two years.

Cheery Cherry Chicken Salad

Cheery Cherry Chicken Salad

serves 4

2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 ounce dry-roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced cherriette radishes
1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange juice and apple cider vinegar until well blended. Add the chicken, cherries, cashews and radishes; stir until evenly coated with the dressing. Taste; season with salt and pepper as needed.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Serve on chilled plates lined with lettuce and a quartered hard boiled egg, if desired.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)


12 comments

Janie says:

This sounds yummy but I’ll have to leave out the radishes.

Jan says:

Well, you know, that’s the great thing about salads – you can put just about any old thing in them and they taste darn good. :^)

Lisa says:

Happy Birthday to your boy. And it’s not old at all, this side of the half century. BTW, I have often discussed the sweetness thing with you. I don’t like sweet in my foods, unless it’s dessert. I like anything tangy at all. Sometimes I think that’s helped me with the weight management over time. I am truly interested in this project you have, and the degree to which your tastes can actually shift. Thank you for the stories – I’m reading.

Jan says:

I’m interested to see how much my tastes can actually shift too; I’m going to venture into the wonderful world of naturally fermented foods this summer. I’ll probably start with a Nourishing Traditions recipe for Pickled Ginger Carrots; they say it’s a good recipe to start with if you’re not used to fermented vegetables. Then I’ll probably move on to kim chee, since I love spicy foods and loathe sauerkraut. LOL

Michele says:

Very pretty and looks like something that I can trade out the chicken for…darn I say it…WTH.. TOFU!

Happy Birthday to the Boy. Mine turns 28 this year also. GAWD that makes me sound old. My friend and I decided that we were now going to round down. It works like this. If you are 51 you tell people that you are 50. 48 = 45. Get it. I think this idea could really catch on. Especially with women of a certain age.

Jan says:

ROFL – Beloved just loves teasing you about the tofu, doesn’t he?

I’m ALL for rounding down, although I’m not sure that will help – it’s just the prospect of having a 30-year-old child, you know?

Happy birthday, Oldest!
Cherry chicken salad, can you do no wrong in the kitchen? Show us some flops!

Jan says:

LOL – okay, if you insist, although I consider the salmon a bit of a flop since Beloved wasn’t crazy about. The mussels, too, since I wasn’t crazy about them. It won’t be tonight, though; it’s hard to screw up all-beef, spicy bratwurst, sweet potato fries and coleslaw!

MamaBadger says:

Happy Birthday, Oldest Son! This does look tasty. No sweetner would kill me. Limited fruit would kill my whole family. Last night, little o’s dinner consisted of yogurt with grapes, watermelon, cheese and pitted cherries. He wouldn’t even look at the cheeseburger I made him.

Jan says:

Little o is at that same stage as The G Man – he used to eat anything and everything you put in front of him, but when they get around 2, they get all picky all of a sudden. I don’t think the boy ate meat at more than two meals the entire weekend, but he sucked down a ridiculous amount of cheese, fruit, milk and peanut butter, along with a few vegetables. They come around again after awhile.

My recipe folder is starting to bulge with all the yummy recipes – they really need to be in cookbook form, y’know? ;)

Happy (belated) Birthday to Oldest! And you’re not old – ‘cuz that means I am, too. ;) I like Michele’s way of thinking – I’m going to start rounding down. :)

Aside from the radishes, this chicken salad not only sounds cheery, but YUMMY too! :) Good chicken salad is hard to find – Arby’s had an awesome one, but then they took it away for a few years, and when they recently brought it back, it’s not as good as I remember – so either they changed it, or my taste buds changed making my own chicken salad trying to recreate theirs. Yours sounds like it’ll be THE one for me! Except well, you know, the radishes part. ;)

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