Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sweet & Tart Chicken Salad

I still have been having jaw pain, which I'm determining, is due mostly from stress.  The pain and tension had begun going away a couple of days ago, which was great!  Then last night I had somewhat of a nightmare that I don't even understand, and I'm 99% sure it stressed me out.

I was in the back seat of a car, I have no idea whose care this was, mind you.  There were three other people in the car with me, all with faces I never saw.  Fun fact: your brain is unable to create a person's face that you have never seen before, so every person in your dreams is someone who you have seen before in your life.  When I say I never saw their faces, I mean I don't recall them even having faces in this dream.  The individual sitting next to me poured the driver a cold draft beer in a frosted mug, because there was a tap and apparently a freezer in the car.

The driver knew that the passenger didn't like him and refused to take the beer, when my seatmate set it on the center console for him.  My seatmate, innocently spoke up saying he knew they had had their differences in the past, but this was a sincere offering of barley and hops.  Driver understood and reached to grab the beer, but the passenger grabbed it and wanted to hand it to him specifically, as even more of a gesture of peace.  Okay, okay, fine, the driver agrees and reaches out for the hand off.  

Before any of us knew what was happening, the fellow next to me threw the ice cold beer into the drivers face when he turned around to accept the brew, then hurled the frosted beer mug at the windshield!  The mug didn't go through the windshield, it only shattered it, making it impossible for anyone to see ahead of us.  The driver veered the car to the right, and we crashed into the guardrail and soared through the air, dropping quickly into what appeared to be the Atlantic Ocean.  That's when I woke up, clenching my teeth, breathing heavily and sweating. 

There goes all my hard work at trying to de-stress and relax my masseter, which is the jaw muscle.  I had to take three ibuprofin when I got up and have been continuously tensing and clenching my jaw all day.  I have a 90 minute massage scheduled for this Thursday, so here's hoping that will relax me further.  I hate how these limitations are coming right as I'm trying to better myself, with this new health and wellness change! Gahhh!

I'm recently obsessed with cranberries, even though being on blood thinners I'm supposed to monitor my intake of them; they can further thin your blood and there is a risk of internal bleeding if one's blood gets too super thin, yikes!

Anyhow, I'm trying to be healthy, so lately for lunch I have been having a lean pocket and some chicken salad that I'm choosing to eat with celery sticks.  If you're not on a diet, go ahead and eat on crackers, in a pita, on toast or a croissant-- the possibilities are endless!  Seeing as carbs are my downfall, I had to go with the option of celery, which turned out great because i won't be  making more dishes, I can just use the celery stalks as my spoon!

Some stores sell already made chicken salad, but I find that I don't generally like store made items as much as my own versions I make at home.  As most of my recipes, this is very adaptable, feel free to add in your own special touches or flavors, personalize it just for you and your family!

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad


1 honey-brined rotisserie chicken (from Wegman's or any other grocery store)
1 cup of Miracle Whip or Mayo made with olive oil
1 1/2 cup craisins or fresh cranberries
1/8 cup sweet pickle relish
1/8 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup bell peppers, minced (I use yellow bells because they have no vitamin K)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or almond slices
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Shred the entirety of the honey-brined, or whatever other flavor, rotisserie chicken's meat, tossing all skin, bone, and cartilage into the trash.

Add all other ingredients in large bowl, and mix thoroughly.  Add additional seasonings as needed.  

Scoop chicken salad by 1/3-1/2 cups and place in small plastic containers for portion control.

Refrigerate portioned chicken salad, and serve with four to five pieces of celery, crackers, bread, or rolls, whichever suits your fancy.

I am very texture oriented when it comes to food.  I like foods with a good crunch and a variety of other textures mixed in, so even though the first day or two that I snacked on this chicken salad with celery was pretty dismal, eventually I began loving it!  Do I secretly (okay, more like verbally) pine for carbs? Yes, yes I do.  It is hard to break a carb addition, especially when you can't just substitute the carbohydrates for a never ending supply of healthy veggies.  The struggle is real, my friends.  The struggle is so real...

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