I love Indian food.
Me and tandoori chicken go way back to June 2006. I was on my 13th birthday trip with my grandparents in London, England. (Sidenote: My Grammie and Grandaddy told each of the grandchildren that on their 13th birthday, they could go anywhere in the world for a week and they would pay for it. It was probably one of the most generous gifts I’ve ever been given, and I will cherish that trip forever!) My grandparents suggested we visit this one village in London that boasted the best chicken curry. My adventurous 13 year old self said yes without hesitation and my grandparents were floored. Backstory: I was a very picky eater growing up. I had three major food groups: cheese toast, poptarts, and chicken nuggets. Fortunately I grew out of it, and now I eat brussel sprouts, sushi, and kale on the regular. If I can expand my tastes, I believe you can too!
Anyway, that chicken curry was by far the best I’ve ever eaten. Even the curry I tried in India couldn’t compare. This recipe is by no means a copycat version of that delectable London dish, however it is the perfect packable lunch to get your Indian fix. Chicken salad by itself is a great make-ahead lunch meal, because it stays fresh for at least a few days and you can put it on just about anything: Sandwich bread, flatbread, crackers, cucumbers, romaine lettuce cups…There are so many possibilities!
This particular recipe incorporates a new favorite of mine, avocado oil mayo. I recently purchased it from the Thrive Market online because I was looking for some Whole30 staples that I could start incorporating into my diet as healthy swaps. Let me begin by saying I am not a mayo fan AT ALL. I cringed when my mom told me she put it in her tomato pie. I like just about every other food (with the exception of olives and dill pickles), but mayo has never been a food favorite of mine. The Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil mayo is pretty fantastic though. Tangy in taste but a great healthy swap for traditional mayo.
For this recipe I added celery, apple, grapes, raisins, and pecans to give it some crunch and to incorporate some more flavor profiles. Then all you need is a squeeze of fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, and curry powder to complete the recipe. I’ve made chicken salad before with greek yogurt and loved it, but this avocado oil mayo really is a chicken salad game changer.
Wanna know the difference between avocado oil mayo and traditional mayo? Check out their ingredient list…
Avocado Oil Mayo: Avocado Oil, Organic Cage-Free Eggs, Organic Egg Yolks, Organic Vinegar (From Non-GMO Beets), Sea Salt, Rosemary Extract
Traditional Mayo: Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor.
Is soybean oil unhealthy?
High fructose corn syrup and soybean oil are two of the most prevalent ingredients in processed foods in America. Due to the unnatural way it’s processed and the fact that over 90% of soybeans in America are genetically engineered, soybean oil’s trans fats are detrimental to cellular function thus creating a slew of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity if consumed in large quantities. So no, soybean oil is not a healthy oil typically because of the way it’s processed in this country.
What’s beneficial about avocado oil?
On the other hand, avocado oil is high in vitamin E and unsaturated fats. Because avocados have more protein than any other fruit and more potassium than a banana, creating an oil from avocados just makes sense. Avocado oil is almost 70% oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Diets rich in healthy fats (almonds, eggs, flaxseed, olive oil, salmon, olives, & dark chocolate) have been linked to improving blood cholesterol levels and decreasing one’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and coronary artery disease. There is a lot to be said health wise when it comes to avocados.
Now that you know why I’m cooking with avocado oil mayo instead of traditional mayo, check out my recipe for Curry Chicken Salad!
Curry Chicken Salad
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup avocado oil mayo (Primal Kitchen or homemade)
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup grapes, halved
1/4 apple, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans, chopped finely
2 tsp curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper
S&P to taste (I like a lot!)
1. Begin by forming your mayo mixture. Combine avocado oil mayo, lime juice, curry powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl until fully incorporated.
2. Using a handheld mixer, break up the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and combine with grapes, celery, apple, raisins, and pecans.
3. Pour in mayo mixture and stir together.
4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate chicken salad until you are about to serve.
Notes – If you’re starting with raw chicken breasts, place raw chicken in boiling water for 30 minutes or until cooked through (no pink is visible). Allow chicken to come to room temperature before combining with other ingredients. If you’re looking to achieve a spreadable consistency for your chicken salad, add the mayo mixture and chicken to your food processor until you reach your desired consistency, then add your mix-ins.
I also made some Flatbread Crackers to go with my Chicken Salad using Pinch of Yum’s recipe. Incredibly simple, only 7 ingredients (all of which should already be in your pantry), and really delicious. These pictures capture what they look like before breaking them into bite size cracker heaven. This recipe will make you reconsider buying store-bought crackers…
Revamp you boring weekday lunches with these two recipes!