This "recipe" was inspired by a weekend stay in Sebastopol with friends. One afternoon we needed a quick lunch that could be easily taken back to our hotel room - something that required a fork and a napkin and that was it. We ended up in the deli section at Whole Foods where I picked out small containers of cole slaw, chicken salad, and potato salad. Once we got back to the room and started eating, it occurred to me that the chicken salad + cole slaw was a nice combination and might make a good take to work lunch.
A few days later, I found myself in Trader Joe's grabbing a bag of their broccoli slaw and a package of their grilled chicken. Instead of making two separate salads, I decided to take the easy (a.k.a. lazy) route and combine everything in one salad. And here's the part where I'm going to apologize in advance...I used mayo to combine everything together. But! It's not just a big ol' glop of mayo. It's more of a mayo based lemon and garlic dressing inspired by a recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. This mayo combo has been my go-to for dipping asparagus, artichokes, and even oven fries. It's creamy, lemony and garlicky and it made a perfect binder for my salad-slaw. If you're willing to give it a try, it might change the way you feel about mayo.
But let's get back to this salad-slaw. Once I was all done putting it together, I took a bite and I was so happy. It's cool and crunchy and feels like you're eating something pretty healthy because of all the broccoli! Also, it was quick and easy to throw together. Win-win!
Chicken Salad Slaw
1 package of Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw
1 package of Trader Joe's cooked grilled chicken, cut in cubes
Zest of one lemon
2 or 3 handfuls of toasted almonds (also available at TJ's)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
Juice from half a lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced (I use a garlic press)
salt and pepper to taste
In a big bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, chicken, and lemon zest. In a smaller bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss everything together. Add the handfuls of almonds and crush them a little bit as you throw them in. Toss everything together again, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve and enjoy!
- I will eat this all by itself, but you could definitely serve it with other things...crackers and hummus, some asparagus, whatever you want.
- I've made the "dressing" more times than I can count and this is the first time I've measured out the amount of mayo. Normally I just plunk some in a bowl, add garlic, and then add lemon juice until it's the consistency I want. The amounts listed at the top make enough to lightly cover the salad. Add more or less to your liking. I used a particularly juicy lemon so my dressing was on the thin side, if you want a thicker dressing add more mayo or cut back on the lemon juice. Too much garlic? Add a bit more mayo and lemon to balance it out.
- This is definitely one of those things where you can customize to your taste. Add raisins or craisins if you like them. Use toasted pecans instead of almonds (though I think almonds probably hold up better). Add more carrots (the broccoli slaw has some, but it's pretty pathetic). Add some parsley, green onions, or chives. Totally customizeable!
- If mayo is REALLY not your thing, a vinaigrette could probably work here too, but I would go with something lemony/citrusy to work with the lemon zest.