Blackened Chicken Salad

June 1, 2015
Blackened Chicken Salad - Crunchy red onion, carrot, & scallions, combine with blackened spiced chicken for an ideal lunch or light dinner sandwich

I'd passed on the giant cinnamon roll and chocolate crinkle cookies

“Eh, I'm give or take”

Farmers Market 1

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Then came the apple pie, ice cream sandwiches, egg rolls, and huge slices of breakfast pizza.

“Thanks, I bet they're delicious, but I'm pretty good for the moment.”

This weekend at the Des Moines Farmers Market, my mom and I spent the morning wandering from booth to booth, along with some sweet friends who were visiting for the weekend.

I'd eaten a good breakfast, mentally prepared myself for all the delicious smells that were to come, and while we were there, wasn't really wanting for anything.  That is until someone walked by with a warm, creamy, cinnamon-topped bowl of

rice pudding

I turned and gawked; my Mom smiled

I thought (hard) about splurging; she quietly shuffled me along

I wondered aloud which booth it had come from; she pointed excitedly at the smoothie place (with shots of wheatgrass for only an extra fifty cents!)

It's times like these; I love her extra

Blackened Chicken Salad - Crunchy red onion, carrot, & scallions, combine with blackened spiced chicken for an ideal lunch or light dinner sandwich

Alas, the never-ending mental game that can hit us out of the blue, no matter whether we're our favorite, or not-so-favorite size,  on our game or off.

For the longest time, I expected it to fade away, although, with age I've embraced with quiet acceptance, for me, it will always be

The reality is, stripped naked; we're always beautiful.  Our Sweeties will love us just the same, and our friends could care less.  We could choose to simply be happy because really, does anything change when we get a little plumper?

Ummm .. that's almost true

There's the moment when you see a photo of yourself, and think Oh my!  Or your jeans don't quite fit anymore, and you pretend they've been forgotten in a dark corner of the closet, or accidentally sold at a summertime garage sale

The quiet discomfort, the feeling of blah, that's hard to quantify with words, but those few extra pounds?

You're wearing them

Diet Cartoon 1-640x

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In the past, when it's happened, I've tried to stay cool, and the people around me have been sweet enough to remind me, “You look great!”  But really, inside, I wasn't feeling very cool.  I knew I had to do something about it

In my 20s and 30s cutting calories and upping my exercise, was sure to bring some level of success.  Admittedly though, it could be hit or miss depending on the season of life.  I'd either be on my game, with the pounds melting off without much effort

Or, I'd have zero by way of willpower.  There wasn't enough time between work and kid's activities or all of the other reasons I'd find for not making progress.

Add to it all, the fact that as we get older, the pounds tend to stay with us like never before

In my 40s, the ante was upped a bit.  I found myself as a coach and instructor, as well as beginning my education in holistic nutrition.  With newfound knowledge in hand, I began being exposed to many different experts, each bringing along their versions of an eating plan, and I began trying them out.

At first, these new ways of eating were exciting, although, after a while, I began to notice something terribly weird was starting to happen

(.. to be continued .. )

Blackened Chicken Salad - Crunchy red onion, carrot, & scallions, combine with blackened spiced chicken for an ideal lunch or light dinner sandwich

In the summertime, I always love chicken salad.

The problem is so many recipes are often uninspiring, with bland chicken cubes and lots of mayo.  In this version, start with chicken seasoned with a wonderful blackened seasoning mix.  It's then mixed with red onion, scallions, and carrots.

To bind it all together, a delicious dressing made of mayo (or Greek yogurt or Veganaise), Dijon mustard, and cider vinegar

The result is a wonderful salad that can be eaten as a light lunch or dinner, with greens, a wrap, on the bread of your choice, or simply on its own.

Also, you can easily avoid the cooking process by purchasing a 2-pound rotisserie chicken, which will yield ~ 4 cups of shredded or cubed meat.



ps:  You can read more about my healthy eating journey in Part II  |  Part III  of this series

— — —

~ Adapted from Spark Recipes

Blackened Chicken Salad


  • Blackened Seasoning Mix
  • 1 ½ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • (You'll use about 2 Tbsp of the seasoning mix for the recipe. In total it makes ~ ¼ cup)

  • Dressing
  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

  • Chicken Salad
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 6 scallions, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided (or coconut oil)


  • Blackened Seasoning Mix
  • Mix all blackening seasoning ingredients together and set aside in a small bowl.
  • (Makes ~ ¼ cup)

  • Chicken
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Brush chicken breast with 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, on both sides, and season both sides with blackening seasoning.
  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet. Cook chicken on each side for 7 minutes.
  • Place in preheated oven to finish cooking for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Dice the chicken and set aside, in a large bowl

  • Dressing
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt, if using), apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, set aside

  • Blackened Chicken Salad
  • Combine the diced chicken, red onions, grated carrot, and scallions.
  • Pour dressing mix over chicken mix and stir (gently) to combine. Cover and chill for a couple of hours
  • Serve atop your favorite bread, or with veggies in a wrap, or if you're avoiding bread, wrapped in big lettuce leaves
Serves: 4
Nutrition + Show
Calories 340
Total Fat 21.3g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Carbohydrates 7.7g
Fiber 1g
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 27.3g
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