Chicken salad was always one of our lunch favorites back in the animal-eating days, but sadly missing-in-action as we transitioned to WFPBNO (Whole-food, Plant-based, No Oil) way of eating. But, the other day I got a hankering for it that would not go away.
Chicken salad was always a good way to use up the last bits of that rotisserie chicken, but it's even easier, and more accessible now that there are so many choices of frozen, plant-based proteins at the local grocery store. I'd even entertained the notion of making it from my own homemade Seitan that I have in the freezer. But, for our purposes today, I went with the Gardein Meatless Chick'n Strips. I really love this product. It sautés nicely and works great in everything from stir-fry to soup. If you can't find this product locally, then try the Quorn Meatless Pieces. I used them, too, and the shape is really the only difference.
For the two of us, I took out about 10 strips from the re-closable bag. There's no need to thaw them. Just toss 'em into a small non-stick frying pan, with a small amount of broth or water at the handy.
Sauté them, over medium heat, for about 8 minutes, adding just a tiny splash of broth/water if needed to keep the strips from sticking. Turn the strips occasionally so they become a nice golden brown all over.
This is the nicely sautéed golden look you're angling for.
Cut up - or shred with a fork - the strips and set them aside while you prep the vegetables for your salad.
You can be as creative as you want in this part. I chose to include some frozen peas - warmed up in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I didn't want them 'cooked' exactly, but just warmed through. The peas add a nice 'pop' when you bite into them, plus some extra protein. Then, I chopped up about two small stalks of celery - making sure to take full advantage of the leaves near the center of the celery! Then, a bit of red onion, and some chopped up red bell pepper. You could certainly add things like chopped pickles, caper berries or green onions.
Then, I heaped a couple of large spoonfuls of my no-oil, plant-based mayonnaise and a good squeeze of Dijon mustard. Finally, I added a dusting of my favorite herb and shallot seasoning blend - Lake Shore Drive Seasoning from The Spice House - a few grinds of pepper and a pinch or two of salt. Of course, you could easily go with: dill weed, thyme or tarragon. I could even imagine this salad with a more Indian-inspired approach using a Sweet Curry Powder, or even a more BBQ-inspired flavor palate.
However you like it, this meatless chick'n salad will become one of the standards for your lunch rotation.
Hey, if you like or make this dish, would you mind posting the recipe to Yummly? I'd really appreciate that. The Yummly icon is on the right side of this webpage. Oh, and saving to Pinterest would also be great! Each photo should have a Pinterest icon in the upper left corner! Thanks!
This button will take you to PayPal where you can securely pop a bit in the 'tip jar'.