Chicken Salad

Wednesday 19 May 2010

I was looking to make us a delicious lunch today, that was not only scrumptious, but also fairly healthy. Todd has been diagnosed with high cholesterol and I am trying to get him to eat a lot healthier. If they can't get his cholesterol down, it will mean him going onto a medication to bring it down. We don't want that if we can help it. (Baking cookies does not help.)

This means using low fat ingredients, and avoiding butter, cheese and fatty meats. No frying etc. You know the drill. Boring . . . when you take the fat and fun out of food, you also take out a lot of the flavour. You have to get it back in there somehow . . .

Going low choleserol is not an easy change to make when you have a man who loves buttered toast with cheese in the evenings, and tinned corned beef sandwiches on buttered bread for lunch.

I had a jar of mostarda di frutta that I had picked up at the store probably about six months ago. A pricey little item, and something that I had not yet used. I also had a package of cooked chicken bits that I wanted to use up, so today I decided to make him a somewhat healthy chicken salad for his lunch.

I used lots of celery and toasted pecans for crunch. I thought the mostarda di frutta would add some interest and a bit of hot sweetness to the mix. It was a fabulous addition . . . I used the plum and orange. I only added a minimum of mayo, and I used the ultra low fat version at that . . .

We were very pleased with the results. Todd really enjoyed this. Of course you could add not so good for you ingredients . . . like chopped grilled bacon or chopped hard boiled egg . . . but in this instance we didn't really miss them.

Chopped apple is also very good in this, or even chopped mustard pickle or chutney.

*Chicken Salad*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

A delicous chicken salad, filled with flavour, crunch and little surprises!

For the salad:
250g package of cooked chicken breast bits
(about 2 cups)
2 stalks of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
2 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped
a small handful of pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
two fruits from a bottle of mostarda di frutta, chopped
a drizzle of the syrup from the bottle
several dollops of mayonnaise
salt and black pepper to taste

lettuce leaves for serving
a few toasted pecans for garnishing

If your chicken is in large bits, cut it into smaller bits, about 1/2 inch cubes. Place into a bowl along with the remaining ingredients, adding only enough mayonnaise to moisten. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Arrange some lettuce leaves attractively on two chilled salad plates. Divide the chicken salad equally between the plates, placing it on top of the lettuce leaves. Garnish with some chopped toasted pecans if desired.

Note - this also makes a delicious sandwich filling. If you cannot get the mostarda di frutta you can use mustard piccali, if you wish, or you can use a half of an apple, cored and chopped. Leave the skin on for colour. This adds a touch of sweet and crunch.


  1. You could add hard boiled eggs to this even for a low fat diet, as long as you take the yolk out first. The yolk is where the fat is after all, the white part being pure protein. Just food for thought! :)

  2. Hi first time here at your blog. The salad looks delicious but mayonnaise, even light is not so good for your husband's cholesterol. You can substitute it using olive oil, mustard and some low fat Greek yoghurt. I used to have high cholestorol and have managed to lower mine following the Mediterranean Diet. I don't take medication any more. I hope that you don't mind that I am giving you the link of my post and hope that I can give you ideas about cooking healthier.

  3. Since MOTH set the record at our Clinic for the highest cholesterol EVER, I've had to engage a whole different way of cooking. 2 months into it, we are still going OK, but gosh I need to put so much extra thought & effort into cooking for MOTH's Leaping Lipids No-Fat Diet. Good luck dear Marie, you can do it girl.
    Millie ^_^

  4. Marie, I'm a trainer/nutritionist. Your dear Todd needs to start his days with a lovely large serving of oatmeal (the cooked kind- no instant) and add a good exercise program to his daily routine. Depending on how high it is and what his HDL and LDL numbers are, small changes can make a big difference. I don't blame him for wanting to avoid those meds if possible. The chicken salad is lovely- I also make one mixing equal amounts of mayo and apricot preserves served in a croissant or puff pastry cup- YUM!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. ooooooooooooooo my gosh.
    that looks incredible !

  6. MARIE: Lovely recipe and I can't wait to try it! Not sure if we can get the mostarda di frutta here, but maybe chutney would work? Or you could suggest something else? I think chopped apricots and craisins would be a nice touch. The toasted pecans will surely take this chicken salad to the next level ~ YUM ~ and thank you! xx P&H

  7. looks delicious - I make a similar one with chutney and add some green grapes. Your post got me thinking about my cholesterol and that ongoing battle.

  8. Take it slowly; and tell Todd that before he knows it, he will begin to really enjoy things without a lot of butter and fat. I know I learned. (Not that I don't enjoy a little butter!) But I now prefer the "light" versions of things & find the full fat to be too rich for me to take anymore. And without the sauces etc, you can really taste the ingredients for what they are then. (Which means, of course, that you have to have really good ingredients to begin with!)

    You want to have you Todd around as long as you can. I'm rooting for you both. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks --- but not impossible.

  9. thanks for making my stomach growl in class :-/
    -Mini B.

  10. When making cakes that call for butter I often use olive oil instead and there are a few recipes that use olive oil anyway.

  11. I just wonder whether you are aware. This post has been stolen. Please check it out at


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