Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lunch in a Box: Curried Chicken Salad

After a year of minimal meat eating, I appear to be recovering from a severe aversion to chicken. I'm taking baby steps and slowly introducing it back into my diet. So far, so good. The timing is pretty perfect considering how hard I'm trying to lower my carb intake. Making low fat dishes with chicken is a really good substitute for some of the carb heavy vegetarian meals that I had come to rely on. I still have strong feelings about not eating meat, but it appears that this is the best thing for me right now, so I'm not going to fight it.

I was really excited about my lunch when I put it together this morning. I made the chicken salad on Saturday and had already tried it out and loved it. You can do a lot with it, but I went simple and just put a dollop on top of a bed of spinach- no dressing needed (though I did add a spoonful of mango chutney on top)! Just add a few spinach leaves to each bit of salad, and you've got a really healthy bite on your fork.

For this lunch, I added a few cherry tomatoes to round out the salad, and included a side of homemade cilantro jalapeƱo hummus with veggie sticks for dipping. I also fixed two snacks for the day- a 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese with a 1/2 cup of strawberry slices, and a 1/4 cup of Women's Vitality Nut Mix from the bulk section at HEB. My overall carb intake (according to my handy LoseIt app) is just 36% for the day- below my 40% daily goal. So far I haven't felt the least bit hungry after a green smoothie and a scrambled egg for breakfast. And we're eating vegetarian for dinner (tofu, kale and brussels sprouts), so I feel like I'm getting a good variety of food throughout the day.

Amy in Austin: Curried Chicken Salad

The chicken salad was pretty easy to make, and is easy to adjust the spices to suit your tastes. I love curry, so it's not possible to overdo it in my opinion. But I definitely recommend using the turmeric powder. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, helps maintain mental health, and also halts fat cell expansion- fighting weight gain! I have started using it as much as I can recently, and love the mild taste of it. You should know by now that when I experiment with a recipe, I rarely remember the exact measurements of what I use. Be sure to taste as you go and make this dish work for you!

Curry Chicken Salad:

1 T olive oil (or other mild oil- like canola or hemp)
juice of 2 limes
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (preferably organic and free range)
1-1/2 cups of 0% fat greek yogurt (I used Oikos for this, but also love Fage)
1-2 T apple cider vinegar

3+ T curry powder (you will use some to season chicken first)
1 T turmeric

1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup slivered almonds

salt and pepper to taste

1- Pour oil and lime juice into a baking dish, then coat chicken breasts. Sprinkle both sides with a little bit of curry powder. Bake at 350 for 25ish minutes- until done.

2- While chicken is cooking, mix yogurt, vinegar, and spices in a large bowl. Taste and make adjustments.

3- Once the chicken has baked and cooled, shred it using two forks and add to the yogurt mix. Stir to mix well, and then add the raisins, celery and almonds. Taste again and make any necessary adjustments.

4- Store in an airtight container. Makes about 6-8 servings.

Texas Women Bloggers


  1. hey. new to your blog, found you through the sweet tea social. (which is fun) Because I am new to your blog I've missed why you became a vegetarian & what made you start eating meat again?
    I was a vegan for 3 years & then a vegetarian for another 5 years. It was a bit rough introducing meats back into my diet. Just curious about your story :)

    1. Hi Britanny! Thought I would post my reply here in case others are interested. My (now) husband is Catholic, and last year I decided to participate in Lent with him. After talking with a friend who had just watched the Forks Over Knives documentary, we decided to adopt a completely plant-based diet for 6 weeks. No dairy, no meat, no oil. It was tremendously difficult, to say the least. I've had a love/hate relationship with meat my entire life, so that part wasn't hard. But giving up eggs and dairy was. But we pulled through it, and as a result continued to eat almost no meat (with exceptions for bacon here and there).

      Fast forward to a few months ago. I had a routine physical with blood work that came back saying my blood sugar was too high, and that I needed to reduce the amount of carbs that I eat in order to regulate it. We tend to eat a lot of brown rice with our meals, and I knew I had to make some changes. You would think eating vegan would make you skinny, but it did the opposite for me. I was just eating the wrong things.

      So I am trying to add more protein, and lower my daily carb intake to see if it has any positive affect on my weight (and overall health). I still have strong feelings about animal cruelty and processing of meat, so we try to make responsible decisions when we do buy animal products. That's the hard part for me! I'd love to hear your story too!

  2. Hey! Found your blog through the Sweet Tea Social as well! Happy to see another Austinite in this community! :) And your post made me totally hungry!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Traci. I'm new to Sweet Tea Social as well, and I have enjoyed finding other Texas bloggers through it.