Friday, July 30, 2010

Tastes Like Chicken

I have a love/hate relationship with meat salads (like chicken salad, tuna salad, etc.). I love tuna and chicken salad, but only if it’s not too goopy and the chicken is chopped small enough and there can’t be any grapes in it (I just don’t get that combo!). So adapting Paula Deen’s Almond Chicken Salad would be great because I can control everything that goes in it!

The worst, or rather unhealthiest, part of chicken salad is the mayonnaise. So to lighten up this version, I swapped out ½ cup of regular mayo for a mixture of light mayo and pureed white beans.

White beans, you ask?? I totally wish I could take credit for this trick but I actually got this idea from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Sneaky Chef (check it out below). I got it a couple of years ago with my food processor and I’ve tried tons of recipes from it and fell in love with the concept. Basically, the author uses fruit, veggie and bean purees in place of high fat ingredients. I’ve made chocolate French toast, blueberry muffins and ice cream that all have these “sneaky” purees in them and they’re delicious!

The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love

Back to my chicken salad, I combined all the ingredients and I was done! I packed it for my lunch next day to share with Kat. It was good, but the chicken needed to be diced smaller and it needed a tad more mayo/bean mix to make it more cohesive. I made those adjustments and had it again the next day and it was much better!

Nutritionally, the lightened up version has almost 100 calories less than the original and the fat was reduced by 60%!

Nutritional Information Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 6 Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories: 243 Calories: 165
Fat: 17 g Fat: 6.7 g
Sodium: 550 mg Sodium: 149 mg
Fiber: 1 g Fiber: 1.5 g

What food do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Here’s the recipe!

Fit Chick(en) Salad

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp light mayo
2 tbsp pureed white beans
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 c celery, diced
1/3 c slivered almonds

Combine all ingredients and chill.


  1. So what a brilliant idea with the pureed beans! I'm always so impressed with these posts. You find ways to make such healthy adaptions to so many recipes. Thanks for sharing this...I'm going to make a big batch for my mom!

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  3. Question, What is the best way to puree white beans? I used my blender, but I needed to add some water to get it to move. I drained the liquid off the beans first, maybe I shouldn't have done that.

  4. This was a good chicken salad recipe. I really liked the almonds in it. It would be good stuffed into a pita.

  5. I pureed mine in a food processor with 2 tbsp of water. It never got to be super smooth until I mashed it with a fork to help it along and added the second tablespoon of water