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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 December 2, 2018

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

            The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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            The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

            Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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            Review Your Past Flow

            Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

            Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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            Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

            Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

            Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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            Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

            Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

            We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

            Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

              Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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