curried chicken salad

It’s officially lunch week over here. A few weeks ago, we had breakfast week and I guess that means dinner week should be next! We’re starting things off with a superb curried chicken salad (it’s perfect over greens and easily made ahead of time) and later this week, I’ll be sharing a ton of ideas on what to pack for lunches – ideas designed for both kids and adults!

So the curried chicken salad.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

The location of my office? It’s a good one. (Except that the four mile drive can take 30-40+ minutes on a bad day!)

It’s a few blocks away from one of my favorite lunch spots, Clementine (I’ve created a number of copycat Clementine recipes: whole-grain oat muffins, lentil, beet & goat cheese salad and fall chicken salad) and it’s a few blocks away from my favorite mall in LA. Which is trouble, so I don’t visit the mall that often.

A visit to the mall = a visit to madewell = spending too much money. So I just avoid it all together, as much as humanly possible.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

In addition to some great stores, this mall has an incredible food court. It’s honestly the best food court EVER! I normally stick with the same greek salad, but recently I branched out and had lunch from Coral Tree Cafe.

They make a classic curried chicken salad, served over greens. So perfect. I had to have it every day for lunch the following week. The curry sauce is creamy and so flavorful, but the raisins make this salad. I am not normally a raisin fan, but in this version, they are the sweet bite this salad needs.

Chicken Curry Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Chicken salads are a favorite of mine because they can be made ahead of time and served with a simple salad for a healthy, protein-packed and easy lunch. And curried chicken salad just might be my favorite of the bunch. A hint of spice, a touch of exotic and a little excitement to 1pm on Wednesday.

Curried Chicken Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 breasts)
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup diced carrots
  • ⅓ cup diced cucumber (remove seeds)
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ⅔ golden raisins
Instructions
  1. Cook chicken breasts as desired and let cool and chop into small pieces. (I poached mine, directions here.)
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, water, curry powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  4. Toss together all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Serve with greens, stuffed into a pita or with crackers.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 316 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 13 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 41 grams

 

8 ways to use pesto

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

Is there anything better than a batch of fresh pesto?

The possibilities are endless. Even the beginnings are endless!

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to pesto – meaning I tend to stick with the standard basil + pine nuts + garlic + parmesan + olive oil, but it’s not to say that I never branch out. It’s just rare. And for the record, I don’t always make my pesto from scratch. It’s preferred, but I also love the Kirkland brand of prepared pesto from Costco.

8 ways to use pesto: 

Pesto Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

This has been dinner far too many times to count. It couldn’t be easier, yet hits the spot every single time I have it. Try Pesto Pizza for lunch or dinner soon. Please!!!!!

Thin pesto with olive oil and drizzle on fresh vegetables. Outstanding!

Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread | A Nutritionist Eats

I absolutely love combining pesto with avocado. Clarification: I love combining anything with avocado, and pesto is no exception. Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread is a delicious, rich and healthy sandwich.

Toss with cooked grains (like quinoa) and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Summer Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

Summer Crostini is a great make-ahead appetizer and guaranteed crowd-pleaser. (And it’s been having a moment on pinterest this summer!)

Blend into white bean dip. Serve with toasted crostini, crackers and fresh vegetables.

Pesto Chicken Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

If you’re a chicken salad fan, you’ll love this pesto version! Pesto Chicken Salad is insanely easy and perfect on sandwiches or spread on crackers.

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

And, last but certainly not least is probably my absolute favorite way to eat pesto: simply tossed with pasta.

What’s your favorite way to use pesto? (AND! Make or buy?)

grilled chicken sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Today, I’ve got a delicious, messy, filling – and healthy – dinner for you all!

When I put a call out for the type of recipes you’d all like to see, there was an overwhelming request for kid-friendly, family dinners. That makes sense. Dinners are tough and so I’m working on more entire-meal dinners with a focus on kid-friendly meals.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

For this particular meal, the center, the main, the BEST part… is the grilled chicken sandwich. The sides – grilled potato wedges and a simple salad – are good, but the sandwich is WHERE it’s at. Let me tell you about it.

Multigrain bread. Avocado. Sriracha aïoli. Swiss cheese. Tomato slices. Grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And. YES!

In my mind, dinner needs to get to the table quickly and it needs to be nutritionally balanced. This sandwich fits the bill. The sides fit the bill. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains/starches…it’s all here!

When I look at this dinner on paper (or screen) it looks like a lot, but it really isn’t. Prepare the aïoli, prep potatoes and chicken and while those are on the grill, make the salad and get the remaining sandwich ingredients ready.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Dinner’s on the table in about 30-40 minutes!

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (give or take depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 3 medium red skin potatoes, washed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, pounded even
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 6-8 cups salad greens
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 oz (8 slices) multigrain bread
  • 1 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Make aïoli: combine mayonnaise and sriracha. Set aside.
  3. Make potatoes: cut potatoes into wedges about 1inch thick and toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and salt & pepper.
  4. Prep chicken: drizzle 1 Tbsp oil, salt & pepper.
  5. Place potatoes on grill and cook for about 7-10 minutes, flip over.
  6. Add chicken to grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, flip over. Cook both chicken and potatoes another 10 minutes, until both are thoroughly cooked through and remove from grill.
  7. Slice 1 tomato for sandwiches and remaining into small pieces for the salad.
  8. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, dijon and remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil together in a large bowl. Add greens and toss.
  9. Assemble sandwiches, plate sides.
Notes
If you aren't a fan of spice or sriracha,try pesto instead!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 700 Fat: 32 Saturated fat: 9 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 62 Sugar: 11 Sodium: 600 Fiber: 9 Protein: 40 Cholesterol: 120

5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less!)

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

I tend to shop based on proximity, but the store has to have the natural and organic selection of foods I’m looking for or it just won’t work. In my current neighborhood (West Hollywood!) there are quite a few options within walking distance. I tend to visit most of them (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms) on a pretty regular basis to see what new foods are out there, but Trader Joe’s is, without a doubt, a weekly stop for me. I can find most of the things I need – and for a pretty reasonable price – but I’ve got to admit that I love the frozen and convenience foods that Trader Joe’s offers. (If you’re ever wondering how something is, just ask. I’ve probably tried it!)

Recently, my friend Lynn and her husband came up with this super-clever buzzfeed video featuring Trader Joe’s mashups:

I loved the video and the premise –  it’s absolutely what inspired this post!

I started brainstorming some of my favorite trader joe’s combinations that fit the following criteria:

  1. under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
  2. fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
  3. include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
  4. delicious (again, because every meal should be!)

Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:

Classic Southern Dinner:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s start with an easy, classic meal: bbq chicken breast, mac & cheese and collard greens. Prepare the mac & cheese and bbq chicken as directed and lightly steam or saute the collard greens. *I really like their “reduced-guilt” mac & cheese, but have yet to try the gluten-free variety!

Palak Paneer Eggs:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Why have I not combined Indian food with eggs before? Ah-mazing. Top cooked palak paneer with a fried or poached egg and serve with hot naan. This will definitely become a regular in our meal rotation – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Tortilla Pizza:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats
Tortilla pizzas are one of my favorite meals and considering that I’ve eaten them on  regular basis for years, it was a no-brainer. When topped with sauce, arugula, cheese and turkey meatballs, this is a particularly filling pizza. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp, top with sauce, cheese, arugula and warmed meatballs and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Chimichurri Rice & Sausage:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Chimichurri rice is a somewhat new item and I’m so glad I finally put it in my cart – it’s delicious (so is the kimchee rice!).  When it’s combined with chicken sausage and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced dinner that comes together in minutes. Slice and saute the sausage and rice as directed while you roast the broccoli in the oven.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Parmesan:

5 Trader Joe's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

This vegetarian meal is delicious and simple. And absolutely OUTSTANDING if you add a drizzle of truffle oil or sprinkling of truffle salt. Simply prepare the pasta and mushrooms as directed and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Use your favorite pasta variety.

Got any favorite quick meals to share? 

P.S. I’m really sorry if you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s! Come visit and I’ll take you on a tour. :)