Every Christmas since I was little my parents and I would travel to Texas to spend the week-long holiday with family members. Now that I am married Paul and I spend every other Christmas in Texas with my family group and every other year in Iowa with his.
“Why are you talking about Christmas in April?”
Every year we enjoy this wonderful chicken salad. It has juicy grapes, crunchy pecans and celery. And there are loads of poppy seeds in the creamy, tangy dressing.
It is made at Whole Foods.
We do not have a Whole Foods here in Iowa. At least not where we live.
So, since I can’t hop on over to Whole Foods (come on Iowa, get with the program) whenever I have a hankering for Sonoma Chicken Salad, I have to make it myself. I have adapted the recipe by replacing some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for extra nutrition and adding fennel for a flavor twist.
In Texas we usually enjoyed the chicken salad between two pieces of bread, on top of some greens, or just by itself. Any way you prefer, it’s delicious.
Lately, I have been obsessed with Swiss chard. It is gorgeous, tender, sweet, and the perfect way to enjoy a low-carb/gluten-free Sonoma Chicken Salad Wrap.
We can all use a low-carb meal every now and then, am I right?
The chicken salad wrapped in Swiss chard makes the perfect lunch. It is satisfying, yet light.
Unfortunately my Swiss chard leaves were a little holey. No, not like a church.
So, my chicken salad fell out of the wrap, onto my hands and plate more than it should have. Despite the messiness, it was completely satisfying. If you have a really hearty, thick large leaf of Swiss chard, you will be ready to rock N’ roll.
Get it? Roll, because you roll up the Swiss chard leaf?!
Don’t worry, I’m not quitting my day job to become a comedian.
Bad jokes aside, this chicken salad comes together in just 20 minutes, as long as you’ve got some cooked chicken breast waiting for you in the fridge.
Enjoy, my friends!
- 1 cup raw unsalted pecans
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 cups previously cooked, cooled chicken breast, diced (about 3 chicken breasts)*
- 2 cups seedless red/purple grapes (cut in half if they are not bite-sized grapes)
- 2 to 3 stalks celery, finely sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, diced
- Swiss chard leaves, any color, washed and dried (the larger the better)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out evenly. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them after 4 to 5 minutes. Remove once they have browned slightly and are fragrant. Allow them to cool slightly and roughly chop them. Set aside.
- Place the apple cider vinegar, honey, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and poppy seeds in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in the salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the chopped pecans, diced chicken breast, grapes, celery, and fennel. Combine well.
- Prepare the Swiss chard wraps by cutting off the stems. (Reserve the stems for another use). Place chicken salad in the middle of the leaf, leaving a good amount of space on each end. Fold the edge of the leaf (the portion without the stem) over the chicken salad and roll the wrap lengthwise. Secure with toothpicks if desired, or simply grasp in your hands and eat immediately.
- The chicken salad leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, although it is best eaten when fresh. Make the Swiss chard wrap immediately before serving.
Cook time does not include time it would take to cook the chicken if needed.
Inspired by and adapted from: Whole Foods
Swiss Chard wrap inspired by: Minimalist Baker