So before I get into the recipe for today I wanted to tell you that yesterday was my 100th post! I didn’t realize it until later in the day. I remember at the beginning this seemed so far away and now I can’t believe how much time has passed. Isn’t time such a fickle friend. It is slow and fast at the same time. I am so grateful for all the support and positive feedback I have received. This is such a fun experience and it is helping me develop and refine talents I didn’t know I had. I am excited for all the posts to come, especially this salad we have today! Growing up I really loved chicken salad, though it seems like we only ever eat it at church functions, baby or bridal showers… why is that? Well as I got a little older and started figuring out what foods agree and disagree with my body it looked like chicken salad was out for good. Then I discovered this recipe for “mock” chicken salad (rawmazing again!) and my world was changed once more. Not only is this recipe healthy and I can eat every ingredient she uses, but I really think it tastes better than the traditional salad. Once again we are really putting our nuts and seeds to work. The mayo is the cashew base I mentioned yesterday, but it is flavored with some oil, apple cider vinegar, agave, lemon juice and dried mustard. So easy! I remember when I went to the store I couldn’t find any pre-ground dried mustard. All I found was mustard seeds. I just ground the seeds in our ‘spice grinder’ (it is really a cheap coffee grinder from Walmart, but it makes a fantastic spice grinder!) and my problem was solved:-) The walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are the reason this is called a mock chicken salad. It wouldn’t really be very healthy to make this with raw chicken, but the soaked nuts and seeds can be finely blended to create a meat substitute. Once you have done that you can mix your nut/seed mixture with the mayo and add the rest of your ingredients: cucumber, grapes, green onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Her original recipe uses half cucumber and half celery. I made it that way the last time we had this, but my husband was none too fond of the celery so I promised him next time I would replace it with more cucumber. You can do whatever ratio works for you. If you want the texture of the celery, but maybe not 2 cups worth, you can adjust the ratios to your liking. That is the wonderful thing about recipes. As pirates say, they are more like guidelines than rules:-) If you want to change up the additives that go into the salad, do it. If you want to actually use cooked chicken or tuna instead of nuts and seeds, go for it. I think I will never use anything but this mayo recipe in the future, but sometimes we might do chicken and other times the nut/seed combo. This is a great recipe when serving those who do and don’t eat meat. You can make a batch of each and everyone is happy. Also if eating this wrapped in lettuce or over a bed of greens doesn’t sound filling enough feel free to pair it with some bread. It is still healthier than a traditional version. If you make any fun changes that turn out well, I would love to hear about them!
1 C cashews, soaked overnight
2 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T agave/honey
½ t dried mustard
- Place all ingredients into blender and mix until mayo becomes smooth. Set aside.
Mock Chicken Salad
1 C walnuts, soaked overnight
½ C sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
½ C pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
4 C cucumber, peeled and diced
2 C grapes, halved
½ C scallions
Juice from ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place soaked walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into food processor and pulse until finely blended, but not turning into a paste.
- Place mixture into a bowl and stir in the mayo. Mix in the other ingredients and add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Scoop mixture onto lettuce leaves (or chopped lettuce, bread or anything of your choosing really.)