So what’s for lunch this week? I’m having this tasty cranberry chicken salad, courtesy of the The Cranberry Institute! I am part of the Cranberry Bog Blogger group, which means quarterly I get sent cute little boxes of cranberries and supplies to make a recipe. This time, I received a box full of dried cranberries, salt & pepper grinders, and a cute red whisk to make this two-ingredient dressing!
Four Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry:
- Cranberries naturally contain the flavonoid proanthocyanidins (PACs). The unique structure of the PACs found in cranberries offer properties that prevent bacteria from sticking to cell walls.
- The PACs in cranberries may help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, such as E. coli associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- MyPlate suggests trying dried fruits, including dried cranberries, as a snack because they are easy-to-carry and store well. Perfectly portioned single-serve packs of dried cranberries are an easy grab-and-go snack! Remember, 1/4 cup is the perfect portion size.
- Cranberries are naturally fat-free, have little sodium and align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.
Add cranberries, in various forms, to some of your favorite recipes to boost fruit intake.
- Use cranberry sauce as a spread on turkey sandwiches (Thanksgiving is right around the corner!)
- Turn fresh or frozen cranberries into a cranberry relish
- Top pancakes or waffles with whole berry cranberry sauce instead of butter or syrup
- Mix fresh or frozen cranberries into store-bought or homemade applesauce
- Add dried cranberries to oatmeal for added layers of sweet and tart flavor (My favorite, Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola w/ Cranberries & Almond)
This chicken salad is very easy to make. I cooked my chicken in the toaster oven (it’s the perfect size without having to heat up the whole oven!) and then diced it up. To make the dressing, you combine a fat-free poppy seed dressing with reduced fat mayo to make it creamy. In a large bowl, you combine the chicken, dressing, green onions, celery and cranberries!
I ate it on whole-wheat bread with baby spinach. Great for a low-calorie, high protein lunch.
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice, unsweetened
- ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing
- 16 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced
- 1 cup sliced celery
- ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions
- 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
- 16 slices of bread
- Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.
- In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.
- Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
- To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a slice of bread and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Top with another slice of bread and serve.
- Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 390, Calories from Fat 100, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 12g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 800mg*, Total Carbohydrate 57g, Sugars 17g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 10%, Iron 20%
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!