Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Salad, Hold the Mayo

It was the first week of dating when I learned my future husband didn’t like to eat anything “white and creamy”. I invited him over to dinner at my place; I was going to cook, of course. As an appetizer I prepared a divine white, creamy cheese spread for tasting on crackers before our dinner. To this day, I’ve never seen someone dance around white cheese spread like my husband. He finally caved and admitted he had an aversion to “white and creamy” food substances. Upon hearing this news, I was devastated. Here is this man, the most perfect specimen of human being – kind, good looking, intelligent, successful – pretty much everything I’ve ever dreamed in a man. And, I can’t cook half of my recipes for him!

It may seem like I’m still holding resentments towards my husband about this "white and creamy" issue – but I assure you I am not. I’ve learned a few work-arounds and of course I can totally sneak a little mayonnaise or sour cream on occasion. Truth be told he rarely notices the "white and creamy" substances if I camouflage them into the food real nicely.

This distaste for “white and creamy” has also forced me to look for recipes that do not contain mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, marshmallow cream, alfredo, cream anglaise.

And today I announce I have been victorious in finding a badass chicken salad recipe that does not contain mayonnaise! Seriously, there’s no sneaking mayonnaise into this recipe. I hadn’t heard of mayo-free Chicken Salad until this recipe. I adapted this recipe from one that I found on, but then tweaked it to fit my tastes.

Here is what I did:

First and Foremost, when I create most chicken dishes, I like to roast a whole chicken so I get the white and dark meat. It really tastes better too. I purchased a Four (4) pound chicken at the store, covered it with foil, and baked it for 2 hours on 350 degrees – only a little salt and pepper needed for seasoning.

I chilled the entire cooked chicken in the fridge until I was ready to prepare the chicken salad. With the cooled chicken, it was easy to pull the chicken meat from the bones.

I ended up with 3-4 cups of chicken, and added this:
2 Large Red Diced Apples (with skin)
1 Cup of Celery Diced
2 Green Onions, White section chopped
¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts
3-4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
4-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Mix well and chill for 10-15 minutes.

I served the chicken salad on a bed of Romaine Lettuce with Sliced Cucumbers and Tomatoes. I tossed a little Oil & Vinegar on the lettuce to. And Presto – Chicken Salad without mayonnaise!

My husband said, “Wow honey, this actually TASTES like chicken salad. Are you sure there isn’t any mayo in this?” And my response was, “ Oh sweetheart, I would never sneak anything white and creamy into your food.” At least not this time, ha!

Recently, my friend Bry and I started working on a theory about how there are many men in this world that do not like "white and creamy" - - straight men of course. On the contrary, most women I know really like the "white and creamy" - any thoughts on this people? Seriously, most women I know like cream cheese and mayo - but, men that hate it are found everywhere! A possible Freudian theory of the unconscious mind that I'm quite interested in exploring.

Mandy Lea


  1. Oh husband and mayo. Mortal enemies. He drives me crazy!!!!!! Beef stroganoff? Nope. Cole slaw? Not a chance. Chicken salad? I have forgotten what it tastes like!!!

    Your recipe sounds awesome Mandy-I may make that for myself for lunch one day. Alas, the hubby does not like vinegar either! (Comically, he says he isn't picky. He just doesn't like two things, that happen to be in everything!)

  2. Okay, so I have to confess, I'm a female mayo hater! I wouldn't say I dislike ALL things "white and creamy", but they aren't my favorite. Cream cheese I can only tolerate in recipes where it's not the first thing you taste. By itself? Can't stand it. Same with sour cream.

    On the top of my dislikes list are all creamy salads: potato salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, cole slaw, crab salad... well you get the point. If it has a mayo base, the sight of it alone almost makes me gag!

    So thanks for this recipe, I'll definitely give it a shot!

  3. I loved this!! I shared it with my boyfriend (a mayo hater) and his grandparents and they both loved it. It's so healthy and fresh. To save time, I bought a rotisserie chicken and used the meat from that. Tasty tasty.