Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Salad Sandwich

With today being Thursday it is of course time for some brown bag advice before we head out to Brown Bags and Books at Spencer Park at 12. Today I am going to talk about the summertime favorites; chicken salad, tuna salad, ham salad, egg salad...ect. These sandwiches are a delicious alternative to your typical sandwiches, however they tend to get a bad rap because of one of the main ingredients; mayonaise. Hopefully with these tips, your creations will be more sought after during the summer months and even on into the school year.

The salad sandwiches of today have come a long way from where they used to be. A chicken salad sandwich used to be leftover chicken between two slices of bread lathered with mayo. Appetizing I know. But, today generations of family recipes have been passed down that have been tweeked little by little over the years. With that being said there still is a steady trend among them all. There must be a bonding agent in all of them to give them the thick consistency to keep them on the sandwich. This bonding agent is typically mayonaise, and has been for years. However with the recent increase in health conscience parents, mayonaise has begun to be looked at in a negative light. So here are a couple other suggestions to use instead of using mayonaise. A popular choice is plain Greek Yogurt. This provides a significant health benefit without losing much taste at all in your salad. It is a great way to make your salad a bit healthier. Some recipes also call for PB to be used as the bonder. I know this seems a bit out there, but it has been noted to work. A last suggestion is to use avocados. To do this you clean a couple avocados and put them in a bowl. Mix them up in a bowl until they are mixed into a kind of paste. This works perfect as a bonding agent. Although it is almost like a guacamole of sorts with chicken, it is still delicious and a lot healthier than using the classic mayonaise.

PB Chicken Salad

2 boneless chicken breasts
Soy sauce and pepper to marinate chicken
3 T peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T fresh ginger, peeled
1 T veggie oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed to 1 inch lengths
2 c sliced sweet peppers
1/4 to 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
Spinach, to serve

Classic Chicken Salad

4 cups diced poached chicken, recipe follows
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced or 1/4 cup sweet onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Tuna Salad Sandwich

1 (6 ounce) can tuna, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
paprika to taste

Here are a few recipe suggestions for you and your little ones to try. However, you can easily mix up your own recipe by just replacing the mayonaise with one of the other suggested ingredients in mentioned above. Hope this works for everyone. Make sure to stop and see us at the Story House from 12-2 today. And bring a refined salad sandwich to eat while you read.

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