This week is my monthly trip up to VT and it couldn’t have come on a better day. It was 75 degrees, sunny, no wind and absolutely perfect. Everything that I love about summer in Vermont.
I even had lunch with my little brother, which was so great. We hadn’t caught up in a while, so it was nice to just sit with him and relax. We chatted about life, girls, school, friends, you name it, just seeing him made me miss living in Vermont.
But life in NYC is treating me very well and I have absolutely no complaints. Well except for the few small ones I’m about to make. Just bear with me.
Besides being near my little bro, one of the things I miss most about VT is my coops/natural food stores. Granted, we do have a Whole Foods near us in New York, but it’s not the same as strolling through the asiles of my grocery stores up there and being surrounded by tons of local Vermont products. Apples, pears, veggies, honey and maple syrup are among the staples that I always pick up when I’m back for a visit.
Which gets me to this recipe for curry chicken salad. City Market, our go-to store in Burlington, has the most delicious curry chicken salad. They serve in their sandwich bar (along with gluten-free bread, yahoo!), but you can also buy it in the deli section to take home for sandwiches throughout the week. It was a staple for us and something I miss greatly.
And naturally I always get a container when I’m in town.
But what happens when I’m craving that scrumptious curry chicken salad and I’m hundreds of miles away from Vermont? Create it in my own fashion (with quinoa) and try to make it just a little healthier.
Traditional chicken salad, although it may seem healthy, can be loaded with calories. It’s usually smothered in mayonaise, which can be super high in fat and heavy on the calories. To make this curry chicken salad healthy, I swapped the mayo for coconut cream. Granted, coconut cream is a bit high in fat, but it’s the good kind of fat and when eaten in moderation (like with this recipe) it’s actually quite good for you.
This curry chicken salad is creamy and luscious, and super healthy. I added quinoa to give it a little added protein and carbs, which make it great as a topping for salad. The sunflower seeds give this salad a nice little crunch and the raisins bring just a hint of sweetness, that helps round out the curry flavor.
Serve atop a salad, on a sandwich, in lettuce wraps, with crackers. Mr. Matt even took this for lunch on a toasted bagel the next day and was raving about it. Any which way you choose to enjoy this tasty salad, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
- 1 cup cooked chicken (I used leftover grilled chicken breasts)
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup coconut cream (I also think plain green yogurt or low-fat sour cream would work)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha / other hot sauce (optional, but so tasty)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped (cilantro would also be delicious)
- In a medium mixing bowl, add chicken and quinoa, and toss to combine.
- Whisk together the coconut cream and seasonings (including the hot sauce if you're using it) in a small bowl and add to the chicken-quinoa mixture. Stir until everything is coated and creamy.
- Mix in sunflower seeds, raisins and chopped parsley.