Summer is a good time to enjoy a meat salad or egg salad sandwich. A cold sandwich that differs from the standard deli meat or pb&j, is a welcomed item on the lunch menu. Of course, the classic diner favorite can be a high calorie offender, depending on the ingredients used.
Tuna, chicken and eggs are all healthy protein options. Likewise, common veggies that go with it, including celery and onions, offer vitamins, minerals and important nutrients. No, it’s generally not these ingredients that send the sandwich over the edge to unhealthy territory, rather it’s the dressing that pushes it to it’s fall. The obscene amount of mayonnaise brimming with fat is the dressing’s demise. According to USDA’s FoodData Central, one cup of regular mayonnaise has 165 grams of total fat, including 25 grams of saturated fat. Using light mayonnaise cuts that down to 55 grams of total fat with 8 grams saturated. Another option is to substitute at least half the mayonnaise with plain non-fat Greek yogurt. This not only cuts the calories, but also adds protein and gut healthy probiotics while not sacrificing taste.
Light mayo and yogurt aren’t the only options. Reduced fat sour cream may also reduce some saturated fat, and while avocado may still have several calories, it has good fats (unsaturated) with very little saturated. Rather than bread, serve the salad on lettuce leaves, inside a bell pepper, wrapped in a thin cucumber slice or on top a celery stick. If you don’t want to forgo the bread, simply opt for a smaller sandwich and have a side of fruits or veggies to fill you up. Cool off this summer with a cold meat salad sandwich tailored just for you!
Almond Chicken Salad (Printable PDF)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 ½ cups green grapes, halved
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green onions
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
½ cup light mayonnaise
5.3 oz. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon paprika
2 oz. bag (½ cup) slivered almonds
In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, celery, onions and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients, except almonds. Pour dressing over chicken mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. Stir in almonds when ready to serve. Serve over lettuce, crackers or between bread.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 250 calories, 11 grams fat, 680 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 27 grams protein