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Gingered Walnut Chicken Salad {Gluten Free}

Ginger Walnut Salad with Strawberry

It’s been a busy day in the kitchen, getting some convenient foods ready for the weekend. We cooked a beautiful farm-raised chicken last night that my husband bought from a friend at work. What a treat to have fresh and unprocessed meat! We roasted it on the rotisserie and ate some of the dark meat for dinner; today I decided to make a chicken salad with the breast meat, and use the carcass, skin and scraps of the chicken to make stock; nothing gets wasted at my house! The stock is simmering on the stove with a little thyme and vidalia onion tossed in, and is reducing nicely.

I’m not quite sure what I will make from the stock, but I am thinking I will refrigerate it and probably come up with some sort of soup on Sunday. Already I took 2 cups out that I used to cook the brown rice that is one of the ingredients in the home made dog food that I am feeding my dog Suzie (golden retriever), nursing her past an illness. She seems to respond very well  to the concoction of ingredients that I put together for her, and I think that wet food, especially with some anti-inflammatory oils and ingredients added, is helpful to keep her hydrated and less itchy.

So back to the chicken salad… I had a lovely bowl of cubed chicken breast, and had to decide what to pair it with. I do enjoy a standard mayo-based chicken salad, but I was wanting something a little different, with a freshness, zing, and full of protein! I bought a nice bag of limes at the market yesterday, which ended up being my jumping off point, and I crafted the rest of the recipe around the lime and chicken. I decided to pair it with some frozen grated ginger, coconut oil, a little honey, thyme from my herb garden and some kefir for the dressing, along with walnuts (toasted with ginger and pepper), coconut flakes and celery. The walnuts add another layer of ginger flavor and spiciness, being toasted with ginger powder and fresh pepper. A little bit tropical, summery and fresh, delicious!

Gingered Walnut Chicken Salad

Fresh Lime, Thyme and Frozen Ginger

Dressing:

  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2Tb coconut oil
  • 2Tb grated ginger
  • 2Tb fresh thyme
  • 1C Kefir (probiotic smoothy similar to yogurt)

Salad:

  • 3 C cut up cooked chicken breast
  • 1 C toasted gingered walnuts (tip to follow)
  • 1/2 C flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 2 ribs celery, split and thinly sliced

Toast walnuts, set aside. Make the dressing: combine the lime juice and coconut oil in a medium bowl, and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, to allow the oil and juice to whisk together easily. Whisk in the honey and thyme. Slowly add the Kefir, a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition. Set aside. Place the cubed chicken in a large bowl, and add walnuts, coconut, and celery, tossing well. Slowly add the dressing to the chicken mixture, stirring well after each addition, with the thought of allowing the chicken to slowly soak up the dressing. Serve over a bed of greens, in a cabbage wrapper, on cheese crackers, or topped with strawberries. Makes about 4 cups.

Tip: To make the walnuts, heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet, add the walnuts and gently toast. Mix together 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper, a couple pinches of kosher salt, and 1 tsp turbinado sugar, and sprinkle over nuts, allowing them to toast 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently over medium-low heat, so they don’t burn. These are also great to snack on, so make a few more than you need 😉

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