Monday, August 16, 2010

Add this....and make it even BETTER!

As promised, I'm going to give you a list of things to add to your chicken (or tuna) salad to make it taste different...and maybe even better!

I love both chicken and tuna salads, but it was only recently that I could get my girls to eat them. I'm now slowing introducing them to new and exciting "additions" to jazz up their (formerly boring) salads. Here's a list for you, and if you have one YOU use that's not on the list...please share...that's how the best recipes happen...they get passed along. Feel free to use as many of these in your recipes for chicken and tuna salad as you like...the more the merrier! (and more interesting!)--adding two or three or more of the items below will really give a kick to an everyday lunchbox staple.

chopped black or green olives
chopped green chilis (drain well)
chopped jalapenos
chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or pistachios
finely diced mango
finely chopped and seeded tomatoes, or halved grape tomatoes
frozen peas (slightly thawed)
finely diced scallions
grapes, halved
finely diced apples (I like using the granny smith variety for this)
chopped boiled egg
very finely diced pineapple (you can use can crushed pineapple, but be SURE to drain VERY well)
finely diced cucumber
finely chopped zucchini
cilantro, very finely chopped (this is one of my favorites)
a VERY small pinch of red pepper flakes
salad shrimp
diced avocados
finely chopped celery
diced onions
diced hard white cheeses

For dressings, we have used everything from the traditional "mayo" to miracle whip, ranch dressing, etc. I've often mixed some Bleu Cheese with mayo, or even some thousand island dressing. Adding some other type of salad dressing to your mayo can really spice up the flavor. If you're using the crushed pineapple listed above, why not use a bit of the juice in your mayo? Play around a bit, it's the best way to come up with something awesome.

Hope this gives you some ideas for giving your chicken/tuna salad a little variation. Be sure to share if you have some ideas that aren't on this list.

Today's food quote: "Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable." Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)

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