Ever had Whole Food’s Sonoma Chicken Salad? It’s the one with grapes, poppy seeds, celery and pecans. It’s delicious! Every time I go there and walk by the deli, I longingly look in that case. $11.99/lb? Yikes! If I’m really hungry I can eat a half a pound by myself in no time! Well…I try to stop myself at a quarter pound, but it’s tough. Aside from the high price, I do have two more issues with this salad: the high-calorie mayonnaise and the lack of grapes. I want a grape in every bite and if you’re lucky, you’ll get about five grapes per half-pound container. There’s a lot more than five bites in there! I’ve been thinking of making this myself anyway with plain Greek yogurt and then the nice folks over at Stonyfield Farm Organic sent me some free vouchers for the very same thing! So… it was meant to be and I set about making my very own version. I venture to say that I like my version better. I still added a little bit of mayonnaise for the flavor but it doesn’t have near the strong mayo tang as the original, AND you get lots of grapes, pecans and celery per bite in my version! The one negative about making it myself is that it takes time. Oh well, it’s totally worth it and much cheaper than buying at the deli!
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast (I had 3 very large frozen chicken breasts)
- chicken stock/broth/bouillon (only if poaching chicken)
- 1 cup grapes
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 2-3 sticks celery, sliced lengthwise and chopped
- 1 TB mayonnaise (I use the organic full-fat stuff b/c I think it tastes best)
- 1/2 small container (5.3 oz size) Stonyfield Farm Organic OIKOS Greek yogurt-plain (or 2.7oz or 75g or a heaping 1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use organic unfiltered)
- 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- Poach chicken (a low simmer) in broth for 45 minutes to an hour, boiling can make it tough. You can also bake it or cook it however you typically like to make your chicken breasts.
- Remove chicken when meat thermometer reaches about 170, remove, allow to cool for a bit and cut into pieces
- Mix yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and poppy seeds, add chicken, mix, add remaining ingredients.
- Salt and pepper to taste if you’d like!
- Also, if you like your chicken salads with more yogurt/mayo, just double the recipe of the yogurt mixture and slowly add it in until you’re happy with the consistency. I prefer a light glaze on everything.
A few notes about the yogurt: Greek yogurt is strained, which makes it thicker and better for my chicken salad recipe so I don’t have a goopy salad. It’s organic, which means there’s no pesticides, antibiotics or hormones added or fed to the cows therefore getting into the milk. Also, there are no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. It’s full of live active cultures, protein and calcium. You can feel good about eating it! If you like Greek yogurt or want to try it, you’re in luck! I’ll be hosting a giveaway very soon for one free 16oz coupon, and three free 5.3 oz coupons. That’s a heck of a deal! More details to come… OH! and if you have kids, Stonyfield’s YoBaby line is also going to give away some of their goodies too. More on that later as well!
Poppy seeds, other than making you fail your drug tests (happened to my roommate in college, very funny), is high in calcium, mangenese and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s also still used for medicinal purposes!
A big thanks to my brother Tony (Roland) for helping me with the picture!