Waldorf salad is my absolute favourite! And this lighter version definitely hits the spot. Traditional Waldorf salad is made with a creamy mayonnaise dressing but commercial mayonnaises are loaded with GMO canola, safflower and soybean oil, not to mention preservatives.
You could certainly make your own, I like this easy recipe from Jamie Oliver, just be sure to use a good quality oil. Alternatively, avocado oil mayo from Chosen Foods, has been popping up everywhere and I love this option. We often stock this healthy alternative at home. (Be sure to check your local Costco as they often have a good deal on this mayo.)
But I want to give you a lighter option so instead I’ve included a deliciously creamy tahini dressing, balanced with a little sweet balsamic vinegar and tart lemon juice.
This recipe is perfect to take to a summer barbecue as it will please any palate. And for dessert, this light and fluffy Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake is the way to go!
Lighter and Healthier Waldorf Salad
Makes 4-6 servings
4 chicken breasts (For vegetarian option, substitute 14oz can chickpeas)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (like coconut, avocado or grapeseed)
3/4 cup walnuts
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 ripe avocados
2 crisp apples, like gala, sliced or diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
2 heads of Boston or butter lettuce
Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon tahini
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, skin removed
1 small shallot OR 1/4 small red onion, skin removed and quartered
1.5 cups olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: In a food processor, combine the first 7 ingredients with 3 tablespoons of water. Process until garlic and shallot are minced. With the machine running, drizzle in oil until incorporated. For a thinner vinaigrette, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper. (Remember, some lemons are juicier than others so start with half if you have a juicy one!)
- GRILL THE CHICKEN: Heat the oil in a pan on medium. Season chicken breasts and cook in the pan, flipping once, until lightly browned and cooked through. About 5min on either side. Omit this step if using chickpeas.
- PREPARE THE SALAD: Chop the celery, walnuts, apples and grapes and prepare the lettuce by pulling off the leaves, washing and drying them and tearing them into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocados.
- ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: Place lettuce on a plate, top with chopped chicken, celery, apple, grapes, avocado and nuts. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
A) Dress the salad just before eating so it doesn’t wilt.
B) This salad works well as a salad-in-a-jar, if making it for lunch for the week ahead. Use a wide-mouthed jar and layer the dressing on the bottom, followed by avocado, red onion, celery, apples, grapes, chicken/chickpeas and lettuce (in that order). Add walnuts on top, separated by a small piece of foil to keep them fresh. When you are ready to eat, simply add the nuts and shake up the jar!