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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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            Helen Goad

            Helen is a financial writer, business consultant, and freelance coach.

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            Last Updated on January 3, 2020

            The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

            The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

            Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

            The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

            1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

            Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

             I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

            To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

            And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

             2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

            Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

            3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

            Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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            4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

            The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

            5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

            Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

            6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

            Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

            7. Positive people smile a lot!

            When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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            8. People who are positive are great communicators.

            They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

            9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

            One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

            10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

            Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

            How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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            I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

            Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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