After nearly a month of back-to-back travel, this week I’m focused on getting my eating habits back under control. I love the big, fancy dinners that traveling affords, but even I can only take so much eating out. This weekend I took the extra time in the kitchen to make sure both Andy and I would have something healthy from home to eat at work.
Andy’s home-made lunch staple is chicken salad. I made up this recipe a long time ago and make it from memory every time, so these measurements may require a little tweaking. Here’s my best guess.
Andy’s chicken salad
- 1 can of chicken (you could also cook and shred chicken; I’m sure that’d taste even better)
- about 1/3 of a granny smith apple, cut into bite-sized pieces (or more to taste)
- 3/4 c dried cranberries
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced*
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp horseradish mustard
- sprinkles of salt, freshly-ground pepper, and cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp finely-chopped onion (optional)
Add all ingredients together in a large bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly. Allow flavors to combine in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. This chicken salad is great on a sandwich, particularly if you add a slice of sharp cheddar.
*In case you don’t know how to hard-boil eggs (no shame–I didn’t when I first started making this!), here are simple instructions. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When water boils, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, remove the eggs from the hot water and immediately run cold water over them for several minutes.
The chicken salad is really his thing–occasionally I’ll take some for myself, but I usually fix something else. For me this week, it’s a simple cucumber and tomato salad. I’ve made this as a side dish (it goes great with summer barbecue, and my family enjoyed it as part of my dinner when we were on vacation), and it’s also a good lunch staple.
Cucumber and tomato salad
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 large container of grape tomatoes, chopped
- 4-6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 of a small onion, chopped
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sprinkles of salt and freshly-ground pepper
Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Allow flavors to marinate at least one hour before serving.
Today I ate this with some cottage cheese and a bag of baby carrots. It’s a little light for a lunch and does require additional items. However, I’ve found that the key to packing lunch is finding stuff with interesting flavors that can beat out the smells of food coworkers are ordering from local eateries. The red wine vinegar in this salad definitely does the trick for me!