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Chicken Salad: Great Ideas for Exciting New Dishes

Chicken Salad: Great Ideas for Exciting New Dishes

The chicken salad is a classic American meal that can be customized to appeal to to even the most discerning consumers. Chicken salad is usually made from pieces of chicken, mayonnaise and a variety of other ingredients used as binders. Other ingredients can be added to add texture and flavor, such as walnuts and celery. There is a wide range of traditional chicken salad, but most recipes consist of the same basic components. Families everywhere have added their own special touches to make it their own. In the south, people add diced apples, sweet pickles, and a dash of lemon juice for a sweet, salty taste. For a little extra power, people in Texas and New Mexico have been known to add jalapeños and a pinch of chili powder.

The good thing about chicken salad is that they can be easily duplicated and tripled in size without compromising the original taste of the recipe. There is a lot of space for creativity to suit different tastes. But first, master the basics and then move on to experimentation.

Chicken salads often taste better with roasted chicken. However, do not stop frying or using other cooking techniques for cooking your chicken. You can even use precooked chicken breast if you are pressed for time.

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There are so many great ways to mix ingredients with the classic chicken salad to make it into a whole new meal. One simple change is to add bread and make it into a chicken salad sandwich. Read on for more exciting twists on an American classic:

Chicken Caesar salad

    If Caesar dressing is your favorite, then you should try this chicken salad version. Simply add the Caesar salad dressing to the chicken and mix well. Combine the chicken with a tomato, lettuce and onion mixture. Complete the Caesar salad taste with bread crumbs or croutons and grated cheese. This classic take on chicken salad is a great recipe to bring to your next barbecue!

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    Spicy chicken salad

      This is a warm salad, and can be eaten as a side dish or a light lunch. First, cook up some bacon with olive oil in a pan and put the bacon on the side when you’re done. Fry strips of chicken in the bacon fat and set aside once browned and cooked thoroughly. Place the sliced tomatoes, red and orange peppers and onions in a large bowl. Add some lettuce and cucumber strips and set aside. Add finely chopped pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil. Mix the chunks of chicken and bacon, and continue mixing to heat all the ingredients. With a slotted spoon, place the hot mixture over the salad and serve.

      Asian chicken salad

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        Although there are many variations, typical features of most Asian chicken salad consist of chicken, lettuce, sesame oil, ginger and crispy chunks of fried noodles. Some versions also use bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, almonds, peanuts and mandarin slices. There are so many different ways to make it that you really can’t go wrong.

        Light chicken salad

          For a healthier and lighter version, use light mayonnaise and lots of onions, celery and herbs to taste. Some herbs that go well include thyme, parsley, garlic powder, black pepper and celery salt. Combine all ingredients together, add the cooked chicken, mix, put in the fridge to cool. This is a light and healthy dish that is very easy to prepare.

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          Curried chicken salad

            This fantastic take on the classic chicken salad is from the Barefoot Contessa and tastes delicious! Create a tangy dressing to add to the classic chicken salad by combining mayonnaise, wine, chutney and curry powder. Add celery, scallions and raisins, mix well, and then refrigerate for a few hours so the flavors will blend together. Serve with cashews.

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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