Wellness Warrior: Curried Chicken Salad Success

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I’ll be honest, when it comes to canned chicken, I’m skeptical. Well, I was skeptical up until recently.

While any kind of canned protein is a wellness boon for the kitchen cupboard, my mind couldn’t move beyond the canned part of canned chicken. Even as a lifelong canned tuna and salmon eater, in my mind chicken was set apart from its canned protein cousins. So I decided to challenge this culinary mental block and added a few cans to my grocery cart.  Curried chicken (2)

Armed with the Capital Area Food Bank’s own recipe for Curried Chicken Salad, I stood over the kitchen counter and forked the contents out into a bowl. Then I mixed the chicken with chopped onion, curry powder, chopped apple and mayo.

The verdict: delightful. The sweet notes of the apple, curry and mayo fit perfectly with the meaty chicken flavor.  And the creamy texture combined with crunchy apple kept the mouth entertained; grapes are an alternate fruit option that would work just as well. The fruit and onion add-ins stretched the chicken and made the recipe go farther, upping the recipe’s affordability. I spread some on a piece of bread, topped the open faced sandwich with cheese, and we all melted. In a bowl, on a cracker or in a wrap, this recipe would taste good in any form.

This kitchen adventure has really paid off, as I now have a new high-protein meal that I can whip out quickly, as long as I have a can of chicken in the cabinet. The curried chicken salad has made multiple appearances on my table through the month, and canned chicken (Costco brand is really tasty) is now a pantry staple.

The CAFB is gearing up to release a cookbook next summer that will show how the food we distribute can easily become healthy, affordable meals. We will keep the kitchen stories coming, and invite you to join us on this cooking journey– try a recipe or two, and let us know how it went on twitter or email!

Jodi Balis is the Capital Area Food Bank’s Registered Dietician, and author of the Capital Area Food Bank cookbook, which will be published in 2016. Email her or follow her at @theredlentil.