Springs’ First Breath: Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Well, it finally came, Spring.

After such a long hibernation, trapped house-bound, it is marvelous to be able to sit outside on the patio and have dinner. This is that brief period of Minnesota spring where the snow is just behind us and the heat of the spring has not yet manifested in the feasting hordes of mosquitoes.

Tonight was a simple dinner of Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, set out for assembly, and fresh fruit. Delish.

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Simple Curried Chicken Salad

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can use light to reduce the calories)

1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped dried cherries or mixture of both.

1 cup grapes, sliced in half (optional)

1/4 cup diced white onions.

2-3 tbsp sweet curry

2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped

Mix the first 6 ingredients together. You can add more of any one to suit your taste. My family likes it very curry flavored and crunchy, so I add more  curry andcelery. Then add the chicken and fold gently to mix. I also prefer to have the grapes in there, along with the the tartness of the dried cherries, but if you dont have the fresh grapes on hand, this is just as good without them.

You can serve this right away, but it tastes best after it has had a chance to rest.

This salad can be served as pictured, on lettuce leaves, which is naturally Gluten Free. It can also be served on whole grain bread, in pita pockets, or on a bed of salad greens with radishes and cucumbers, dressed with a simple vinaigrette.


Easy Winter Salad

Easy Winter Salad

Hubby decided to work from home and forgo the traffic jams that were sure to be on the highways following the 18 inches of snow we got in 24 hours. (Good call, the commute was 3x’s as long as usual this morning)
So, when he took a break for lunch, I had prepared a lovely (and tasty) hearty salad.
I cook a lot from my pantry, and all these items were either in my fridge or in the very well stocked pantry I keep.
Make a simple vinaigrette: blueberry vinegar (mine is home canned) , smidge of honey mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss fresh baby greens in the vinaigrette and top with:
Hard boiled eggs
Quartered pickled baby beets (home canned)
Leftover chicken breast
Slices of blueberry/vanilla artisan goat cheese (any goat cheese would do, but I had this on hand and it paired perfectly with the dressing)

Our family does not care for nuts, but for those who do like them a candied walnut would be nice. I think if I had to do again, I’d add shallots to the dressing.

The key is to keep a decently stocked pantry. The culinary world is open to you if you have more than canned tuna and peanut butter on hand. I think a well stocked pantry discussion is a great future post.