Chicken salad and flip flops.

Winter lasts a long time here.

When I was growing up in Southern California, new bathing suits were already purchased by the end of February in preparation for spring break beach days. This weekend, my best friend is ecstatic about rain in the LA forecast so she can bundle up and be cozy. Even with the mild winter we’ve had this year, I’m growing tired of bundling up and had a dream about wearing flip flops last night.

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My spring fever arrives like clockwork every year, sometime toward the end of February when a handful of warm-ish days get my inner sun-worshipper stirring. Come August, I know that I will be looking forward to the cozy, wet days on the way. The monsoon season will be welcome relief to the summer heat- an excuse to dig out my slippers and daydream about comfort food and the hibernation season that I’m in right now. I’m trying to keep it all in perspective with another 6 weeks of solid winter weather ahead!

A couple of weeks ago, we had a big snow dump. One of the good things about a snow day is that even if you aren’t recreating, you can still get plenty of exercise. I pulled out the shovel and went to town, working up a sweat… and my appetite.

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I wouldn’t normally think of making chicken salad in wintertime, unless I’m trying to use up leftovers. But I’d spied a new twist on the classic recipe going around Pinterest, and had some Greek yogurt and apples to use up- a perfect fit! I started by seasoning and grilling two chicken breasts on the indoor grill, pretending I was grilling outside on the BBQ wearing flip flops.

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While the chicken cooked, I chopped up an apple and half of an onion. I also sliced sliced a pile of grapes in half and gave a rough chop to some almonds.

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It all went into a bowl, along with a handful of dried cranberries. The sauce was made up of Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. How easy is this?

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While John cut up the grilled chicken into bite-sized chunks, I added our beloved hot sauce to the bowl. We like heat! The chicken joined the party, and it was time to assemble sandwiches for dinner.

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Onto a lightly browned roll, I scooped plenty of the chunky chicken salad and topped it with fresh peppery arugula. We ate our sammies with home fries on the side. Each bite was a little bit salty and a little bit sweet, with all sorts of textures going on. The sauce was light and fresh, not heavy and overly creamy. The lemon added a happy brightness. Though the table was now completely covered in a mound of fresh snow, I imagined I was dining on the patio in a sundress.

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And then I put on my slippers and snuggled into a cozy throw blanket with John and Cholula. No matter what time of year, I’ve really got nothing to complain about.

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But after a long winter, flip flops will sure feel good.

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Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt, Apples, and Cranberries (recipe adapted from Damn Delicious)

You’ll need:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • Half of an onion, chopped
  • One small apple, chopped
  • ½ cup grapes, halved
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or blueberries
  • ½ cup chopped almonds (or any nut)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • Teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Teaspoon of hot sauce (we like Cholula!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grill the chicken breasts and chop into bite sized chunks.

In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Serve over arugula leaves, with crackers, or on a freshly toasted bun. Wear flip flops, just for fun. Yum!

Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS link!

One year ago: A few day spa horror stories and one delightful experience.

5 replies »

  1. It’s all flip-flops and shorts over here, but on the Gulf Coast, we almost never get to enjoy the beauty of a snowfall or hike in an icicle forest (we had a freak snow in 2009, hence the snowman in my header, which melted by dusk).

    Embrace the beauty you have — plenty of time for flip-flops and bikini tops come summer.

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