• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad

Savory chicken, crunchy apples and celery and a hint of sweet with dried cranberries. This is classic comfort food all dressed up! Try this Cran-Apple Chicken Salad because it’s a quick, simple and delicious meal your family will love.

First, a little side note. I attended a conference for Registered Dietitians last week, and was particularly inspired by one of the speakers, Anne Elizabeth. She is a Registered Dietitian who talked about keeping true to our passion in our nutrition career. That got me thinking hard about my years in this profession. What is my passion?

Well, here it is. My passion is teaching you that nutrition is simple. I want you to throw out the diet manuals, and get back to basic, healthy, happy eating. I want to teach you the joy of homemade food. I want to provide simple, delicious recipes that you will want to make. I want you to have the confidence of knowing that you can do this! It’s not complicated, it’s not a high-stakes endeavor. It’s simple, fun and rewarding. I want you to experience the sweet success of making food that you and your family love, and that your body will love too. I believe that food should taste good, and preparing it should be simple. That way you can get back to living, loving and serving the people around you.

With that in mind, lets get back to the point of this post.

Chicken salad is a classic, but I never feel great after eating it. So I gave it a reboot. Start with chicken—either home cooked and shredded or canned—it works great and gets dinner on the table in 15 minutes! Add a light and fresh touch with chopped celery and apple chunks. The dressing base is plain whole-milk yogurt—plenty of that rich creamy texture, without the heaviness of mayo. The exciting twist is the dried cranberries—it dresses up the flavor and adds a nice splash of color.

This works great as a sandwich, on crackers, in a lettuce boat, or even plain. For this particular meal, I paired it with crackers, sweet potato fries and the rest of my apple that didn’t make it into the salad.

I find that when it comes to dried cranberries, people either love them, or hate them. I love them, my husband hates them. So I leave them out when I make this for the family and just sprinkle them over my own portion. Simple!

My kids love chicken salad. They eat it as is (although I don’t think they eat all the celery) and particularly love it on crackers. I didn’t get a separate picture of their plates this time, but it looked the same as mine, in smaller proportions. My little guy especially loves the sweet potato fries, dipped in ketchup of course.

This is one of my go-to recipes especially on busy days when I forgot to think about dinner until dinner time. I hope you like it!

The Meal:

  • ¾ cup of Cran-Apple Chicken Salad

  • 5 crackers

  • 1 cup sweet potato fries

  • ½ apple

  • 1 Tbsp ketchup

Recipes used in this meal:

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad

Serving size: ¾ cup

Servings per Recipe: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 (12-oz) cans of chicken or 1 ¼ lb shredded chicken breast

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 3/4 cup (3-4 stalks) celery, diced

  • 1 apple, peeled, diced

  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) plain whole milk yogurt

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash and chop celery. Peel and dice apple.

  2. Combine chicken, celery, apples, and dried cranberries.

  3. Add yogurt, stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Serving size: 1 cup

6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes

  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp coarse ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes. Chop into strips about ¼ inch thick, 4 inches long.

  2. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then boil for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander in the sink.

  3. Place potatoes in a large bag. Add oil, salt and pepper. Shake to coat.

  4. Spread out evenly on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Cran-Apple Chicken Salad:

Nutrition Facts Label for Sweet Potato Fries:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC