Salads are a go-to meal option for us, no matter what time of year it may be. But in summer, it just feels so good to eat a light, refreshing salad, especially when you have a delicious, flavorful dressing to include. This easy chicken salad recipe is a perfect choice.
This healthy chicken salad recipe is very simple, but other ingredients from your garden or farmer’s market can be added to personalize it to your tastes. It would be wonderful with fresh cucumbers, carrots, or radishes. Use leftover chicken from a Sunday dinner or throw some chicken breasts on the grill if you don’t have any on hand.
The salad dressing is a close mock up of traditional ranch dressing, made with vegan ingredients. It can be used as a dip or sauce or even combined with shredded chicken and your favorite herbs and spices to make a wonderful easy chicken salad recipe for a sandwich or wrap. So many possibilities! If you’re not a ranch fan, my homemade French dressing would be a great substitute.
- Shredded Leftover Chicken
- Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes or sliced fresh heirloom tomatoes
- Chopped Romaine or Other Leafy Salad Green
- Hard Boiled Free Range Eggs, quartered (optional)
- Optional add-ons: Carrot slices, Daiya cheese shreds,mushrooms, etc.
- This is the perfect way to use any leftover chicken from previous meals!
- Consider other optional foods to top your salad like carrot slivers, cabbage, cheese shreds, or mushrooms.
- ¼ cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 ½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ tsp dill, fresh or dried
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ c water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Combine all dressing ingredients in blender and blend until well combined.
- Arrange salad ingredients on plate, topping with shredded chicken.
- Dress with desired amount of vegan ranch dressing.
- Serve and enjoy!
Choosing the right salad greens is mostly a matter of personal preference, but there are some health benefits to be considered, when deciding which to use as a base for a healthy chicken salad recipe as well.
Kale is one of the most nutritionally rich greens that can be usedraw in salads. It is an amazing anti-oxidant, promotes brain health, and so much more. To soften it for use in salads, you can massage it with a small amount of lemon juice and salt.
Arugula is also a popular and delicious choice for fresh salads. This cruciferous vegetable is known to boost glutathione, which is important to a healthy immune system, among other benefits. It is also rich in chlorophyll, which is an amazing antioxidant.
These and other types of lettuce and salad greens are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which protect against allergies and asthma, plus offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Everyone can benefit from increasing omega 3 in their diets.
Even the dressing includes healthy ingredients like garlic which has bountiful health benefits.
When harvesting and storing fresh salad greens from your garden it’s important to keep a few important points in mind to preserve the health benefits and help them last in your fridge.
- Make sure that your lettuce is properly cleaned before storage and overripe or damaged pieces are removed.
- Use a salad spinner to remove excess water before transferring them to a container.
- Layer your greens in a container with a lid, placing paper towel between each layer to soak up any moisture and keep the salad greens crisp and fresh.
Looking to swap out more ingredients in your fridge and pantry for items that can create a healthier menu for you and your family? Download Mama Z’s Kitchen Makeover and find our best tips for simple swaps that can make a world of difference in your health and well-being.