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Just another lunch at Casa de Groovy

For our daily lunch over here at Casa de Groovy, we often eat a variety of green salads or things like tuna, salmon or chicken salad on brown rice cake, served with assorted fresh veggies and humus. These lunches are always extremely satisfying, never weigh us down and also help us to avoid that dreaded mid-afternoon slump most folks get after filling up on starchy carbs. But the other day, the hubby felt like chicken salad and we had all the ingredients, except the red grapes we usually use and we had no apples or pears for substitution — what to do? Run to the store? — No way!

strawberry-salad-up-close edit

 Be Inventive!

What we did have was a nest of ripe, red and juicy organic strawberries in the fridge. Would strawberries work? Would their sweetness be overwhelmed by the sharp vinegar of the mayo? I decided to forage through our staples and find this salad’s perfect partners. This is what I came up with:

Greek yogurt, mayo, orange muscat champagne vinegar, bleu cheese, green onions and hazelnuts!

Not only would it work — this might just be the best summer chicken salad ever!

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Markets

That’s what I’m hoping the folks over at Whole Foods will think. They’re celebrating berry season over there and as part of it, yours truly entered a Whole Foods Berry Recipe contest with this recipe (Yay! I hope I win!) Besides that though, I get to take part in the celebration by hosting a berry party for friends (pics and recipes to come!) during the month of June — Coming soon!

Have you ever been out of a key ingredient and found a substitution that blew your socks off? Share your story in the comments below.

Summer Strawberry-Hazelnut Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • About 8 to 10 medium-sized ripe strawberries (chopped)
  • 2 medium chicken breasts (fully cooked)
  • 1/8 cup chopped (or smashed) hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/8 cup mild bleu cheese

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Orange-Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Squeeze of lemon to make the strawberry’s flavor pop!
  • Salt to taste

Prep

Cook the chicken breast, in the oven, skillet or by boiling, and set aside to cool. Chop the strawberries, hazelnuts and green onions and crumble the bleu cheese, setting each aside, in a separate bowl. When chicken has cooled cut it into small, bite size pieces.

Whisk together the yogurt, mayo, vinegar and cinnamon to make the dressing, adjust seasoning to taste.

Mix all ingredients together with the dressing in a medium-sized bowl and chill for 15 to 20 minutes or up to 1 day. Serve on a rice cake, baguette, flaky croissant or a bed of fresh spinach or mixed greens for the perfect summer chicken salad.

Enjoy!

Perfect with fresh veggies and humus