When I was in pre-school, I went with friends to what must have been the University of Connecticut’s school of agriculture. When I came home, I found my father preparing lunch, which was chicken salad. At that moment, I made the connection that my food had a face.
I asked my father where chicken salad came from, and I found out that the birds I’d just seen on the farm were of the sort that were in the mixing bowl. At 4 years old, it was a profound realization. For much of my early life, I ate no meat.
Over the years, as I slipped back to being omnivorous, I ate chicken salad as a staple of my diet – especially when I gave up red meat at 14. As I transitioned back to being vegetarian, I found the occasional faux chicken salad, but often, they were made with eggs, and/or dairy.
For a while, a few of the Whole Foods around Boston were carrying some excellent store-made vegan chicken salad. I have no idea why they stopped making it, but it was definitely a favorite for lunch.
Easier to find, but still not readily available is the excellent Power-Fu vegan chicken salad. A Brooklyn, NY company, I was able to find this item often when I worked in New York, NY. Whenever I find it, I stock up. At 60 calories per serving (enough for a sandwich), it’s a good buy.
Recently, I decided to take out my Ninja blender and try for some homemade vegan chick’n salad. It’s a pretty straightforward effort, and I’m not sure why it took me so long to make my own, but here it goes.
My all around favorite Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick’n is perfect for this effort. If you’ve read other posts of mine, you’ll see I’ve put these chunks in the blender before. This time around, I kept the blender time short, and pulsed until the chunks were consistent with store bought, cruelty included chicken salad.
I wanted to make enough for a week, so I chopped up two full boxes of the Tofurky. To make the salad, I started with two large stalks of celery, chopped. About half a small
onion, diced, made the cut as well. Since I often put pickles in my sandwiches, I decided I’d just mix a couple of dill spears right into the mix.
For the dressing, I went with a couple of dollops of Follow Your Heart’s reduced fat vegenaise. It’s half the fat per serving as most other vegan mayos, including Follow Your Heart’s other offerings. I think the taste is the same, so why not save 5g of fat.
I added some Dijon mustard for good measure. Maybe about 2 tablespoons. I seasoned the mix with some Italian seasoning (oregano and the like), a bit of onion, and garlic powders, and some turmeric. Hawaiian black salt, and pepper to taste, and it’s time to stuff a pita.