by Angie Halten
When you first begin the transition to a gluten free lifestyle, mealtime can suddenly be a lot less interesting. After all, you can’t eat whatever you want, and you can’t eat a lot of your favourite foods. It even seems food might be the “enemy” because it’s supposed to keep you alive, not hurt you.
I know this may sound a bit odd at first, but I was almost mad at food (told you it would sound strange). But then I began to look at it like this: many people must deal with the fact they can’t eat certain kinds of foods. People who have allergies must avoid certain foods. Some people are overweight and must eliminate foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Food can be a problem as much as it can be a help.
So I changed my attitude quickly and approached mealtime with a new resolve – to stay healthy and enjoy doing so. One of the problems to avoid though is preparing boring meals with no pizzazz. Initially preparing boring and safe meals everyday can be a real temptation at first, out of worry related to eating the wrong foods. You may want to play it safe for a while and not be too adventurous.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to get bored with uninspired meals. No one wants to eat the same meals all the time. When meals are boring, the greatest threat to your health becomes the temptation to cheat! Getting bored can derail any special diet, because most people need variety in their life. The old saying, “variety is the spice of life” was probably invented by a person eating broccoli and salad for dinner every day for a year. That’s one of the reasons I send you my free recipes like this Chicken Salad with Almonds – to help keep you inspired and chase away those boring meal blues!
Chicken Salad with Almonds
For a healthy alternative, try this salad. This recipe is great as a low calorie substitute.
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
- ¼ teas. salt
- 2-3 drops hot sauce
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup sliced celery
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 10oz can mandarin orange segments, drained
- 4 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into 1/4inch strips
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
DRESSING: Combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt, hot sauce and pepper and blend together in a bowl. Allow the mixture to set for 45 minutes to an hour. Can be stored in refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
CARMELIZED ALMONDS: Put the almonds and sugar in a skillet and cook on medium until the sugar melts and the almonds are browned. Continually stir this mixture until done.
SALAD: To make the spinach, celery, onions and oranges in a mixing bowl. Toss salad with the prepared dressing. Next, add the grilled chicken pieces and toss into salad just before serving.