As promised from the “What’s in Tara’s Pantry” segment on our Talon Talks podcast…

With the large amount of traveling we have done in the last two weeks…once to Cincinnati for the Central East Regionals where our very own coach Will Moorad took 3rd place, earning himself a trip to the CrossFit Games this summer, and once to Seacrest Beach, Florida…where Will tied the knot, people were wanting to know an answer to a question we get a lot:

“How do you keep to the Paleo lifestyle when you travel?”

I have found that making a very simple Paleo version of chicken salad has been the answer to that question for our car trips. It travels well…just put it in a container in your cooler, and when you stop for gas, it is ready to go! No microwave required. Here is the general recipe:

Place 10 boneless/skinless chicken thighs in crockpot, covered with broth, on low for 4-6 hours. I usually add some black pepper to the crockpot as well. (I use the crockpot because I can make this recipe in “steps”. I can leave the chicken on while at the box, then do my chopping when I return.) I give you a range of the other ingredients, as some like more celery, some like more apple, etc. Just remember, the more apple, the more sugar. Also be aware that you will have three sources of fat in the final product…the chicken, the almonds, and the paleo mayo, so even though it may be tempting to add extra almonds for the desired crunchiness, be sure to be mindful when looking at total fat intake for the day. Also remember that fat is NOT BAD…you need fat. You will find you feel better when you are getting the right amount of fat, as well as lose weight more readily when your macronutrients are in the proper percentages, but you need to be very intentional about planning your meals.

Once chicken is ready, pour chicken into strainer in sink to remove extra broth/water. Transfer chicken to large mixing bowl. Use a potato smasher to mash and shred chicken. Let chicken cool.

Other Ingredients:
6-8 lengths of celery, chopped
1/2-1 cup sliced almonds
1.5 apples, chopped (I leave my skins on…peel first if you prefer skinless)
1.5-2 cups of Paleo Mayo

For the mayo, I make 1 cup at a time so I can use the container that came with my stick/immersion blender.

Place 1 egg (some say room temperature works the best) in the tall, narrow container (the shape of the container IS important!)
Add 1 tsp of mustard (yellow or brown)
Add juice from one lemon (or 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar)
Add 1 cup of lighter tasting olive oil (do not use extra virgin…the taste is overpowering in the mayo.)
Let stand for 30 seconds to make sure oil rises to top. Then, place immersion blender in container with the blender touching the bottom of the container and standing straight up. Blend ingredients, slowly allowing the oil to mix with the bottom ingredients. Start with the blender against the bottom of the container, then slowly bring the blender up as you blend to mix the remaining oil. This should take about 30 seconds total. Once it looks like mayo, remove your blender and mix in a dash of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I like a little extra cayenne to add a little extra “bite”. I probably use about 1/4-1/2 tsp total. Add the salt and cayenne and stir, tasting as you go. Add more cayenne if you’d like. DO NOT OVERSALT! You will be so sad:(

Place all chopped ingredients in the large mixing bowl containing the chicken, and add the mayo! I start with 1 cup and stir, adding more little by little until I reach the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

This makes about 8 servings. I typically place it on a bed a greens…arugula is one of my favorite, as it helps to bring out the peppery flavor in the chicken salad, although spinach and/or mixed greens are good as well. You can also make a variation of your mayo by adding chives, or even dill, which may work best when making some type of fish. You can also garnish with a sweet pepper, or stuff the chicken salad into half of a green, red, orange, or yellow pepper for a quick snack in which no fork is needed:)