The following is a guest post by Pamela Salzman, a natural foods cooking instructor, holistic health counselor, and writer behind the food blog of her own name, PamelaSalzman.com. She is the author of Kitchen Matters: More than 100 Recipes and Tips that Will Transform the Way You Cook and Eat and is the Culinary Nutritionist for Clean Eating Magazine. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and three children.
This Green Goddess Chicken Salad recipe is from my new cookbook, Kitchen Matters, and is a delicious, more nutritious twist on a classic chicken salad. I start with poached chicken, which is super easy to make and a very healthful way to cook chicken. It also really absorbs so much flavor from whatever it’s paired with. Instead of combining the chicken with traditional mayonnaise, which can be a little bland and difficult to find with all real food ingredients, I love using this beautiful and flavorful homemade green goddess dressing.
This is my own version of green goddess dressing with all the creaminess and herbaceous flavor you would expect. (On a side note, I also love using the dressing on a crudites platter because it’s so vibrant and goes with every vegetable.) As for the salad, I kept the classic celery and onion but added some capers for a delicious briny, salty flavor. And since I can’t help myself from adding greens into anything, I turned this into a green salad!
A few years ago, my family might have rejected the idea of a big salad for dinner (as opposed to a big salad with dinner). But they’ve definitely come around to the idea, especially in the warmer months when we prefer eating something light but substantial. The key with a big salad is to keep things interesting with a variety of textures and flavors. It’s also super important to make sure the ingredients are really fresh and delicious. It can make the difference between a “wow!” salad and a “blah” salad.
One of the most common questions I hear in my cooking classes is about substitutions, especially for dairy, gluten, nuts, and animal protein. My answer is that there’s almost always a great substitute! I have addressed common allergens/intolerances for every recipe in my book. With respect to this chicken salad, whether you choose almond milk yogurt or silken tofu to make this dairy-free, or omit the chicken in place of cooked white beans and avocado for the vegetarian folks, it is a flexible recipe. Thank you, Lisa, for having me back on your blog. It’s always great to be in the company of other real foodies!