“Chicken” Salad Sandwich
I was trying to think of what to make for dinner the other day, and it was one of those hot days when you know you’re not going to feel like cooking, but you want something good to eat. I’d gone to Whole Foods and saw a chicken salad they make that I actually used to like, so I got the idea to make a vegan version.
Now I say I “actually used to like” this particular chicken salad, because when I ate meat I was never a big fan of chicken salad sandwiches in general. I was such a picky eater that they always seemed gross to me, because I was freaked out by what kind of chicken pieces might be lurking in that chopped mass. (Right now my family is re-living the days of sitting at the table with me and telling me that they were going to buy me a microscope to better help me examine my food.)
Maybe it’s ironic, but I’m not really bothered by using processed meat substitutes once in a while. It might be because so many meat products are super processed anyway, and the faux version usually tastes a lot like the original, but without all the weird tasting and textured little unidentifiable bits floating around in there. There’s that, and of course all the other reasons it’s probably not a good idea to eat meat…
For this salad I used Morning Star Chik’n Strips (make sure to get the vegan ones). You could also use another chicken substitute like Gardein or seitan, and I’m sure you could even use marinated tofu if faux-meat’s not your thing. It’s incredibly simple to make, and it’s really, really yummy.
“Chicken” Salad Sandwich
8 oz. Morning Star Chik’n Strips, or other chicken substitute
1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh taragon, minced
1 Cup toasted walnuts*, chopped
1 Cup grapes (red, green or both), halved if large
1/2 Cup Vegenaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
bread slices (I used whole wheat, use your favorite)
butter or bibb lettuce
Prepare your chicken substitute, let the pieces cool and then chop them. In a large bowl, toss the “chicken” pieces with the tarragon, toasted walnuts, grapes and sea salt. Add 1/4 cup of the vegenaise, and mix everything together. If you prefer less mayo, add the additional 1/4 by tablespoon increments until it reaches your desired level of creaminess.
Chill the mixture and serve on toasted bread with butter lettuce.
*To toast the walnuts, place them on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant, rotating the tray and stirring them halfway through the baking time.
If you’re a fan of celery in salads like this (I’m clearly not), it would work really well here. Just dice the pieces to be roughly the same size as the other ingredients and mix it in.