Cashew Curry Chicken Salad: Because curry takes everything to the next level.
I love all curry. I love sweet curry flavored foods, melt your face off Indian curry, creamy coconut Thai curry, red curry, green curry, yellow curry, literally ALL the curry. I could eat curry every single day.
This recipe takes your boring traditional chicken salads and adds some mild curry spice making it a fun and flavorful alternative. Traditional chicken salad uses soybean oil mayo. In this version we swap out that processed soybean oil for something a lot less inflammatory, avocado oil mayo. Avocado oil is highly monounsaturated, compared to soybean oil which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids are healthier because they are less likely to undergo oxidation which can cause free radical damage. Soybean oil is also one of the biggest offenders in regards to density of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are promoters of inflammation, and in combination with high amounts polyunsaturated fatty acids can cause arterial damage.
To make this recipe even more delicious we are going to add coconut chips, cashews and cranberries for something sweet and crunchy. By pounding the chicken breast, and pan searing it, you will create incredibly tender and flavorful chicken to serve as the base for this meal. The combination with the curry, juicy chicken breast, and add-ins yields an interesting and satisfying dish.
Why yellow curry powder is fantastic?
Yellow curry powder gets it’s color from the turmeric used as one of the ingredients in the spice mix. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and can be found in it’s raw form as a root with a bright orange-yellow center. It has been used for both medicinal, and flavoring purposes for thousands of years. In ancient medicine, turmeric has been used to reduce inflammation and pain, and continues to be used for this purpose to this day. Decreased inflammation is reported in countries where turmeric is consumed at an estimated average minimum of 125 mg daily. This root contains an biologically active compound called curcumin which is thought to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, which is the same inhibition pathway as NSAIDS pain relievers, like Tylenol. Curcumin also helps to blunt inflammation by inhibiting cytokines and other communication proteins that promote the inflammatory cascade.
Will the curry in this recipe cure all your pain and suffering? Probably not, unless you’re like me and find a deep rooted satisfaction in enjoying a delicious meal flavored with curry. But, is it a fantastic idea to eat more foods that promote a lower inflammatory state? Absolutely. Chronic inflammation is either the cause or a symptom of every single disease. Reducing inflammation is vital for leading a healthy and enjoyable life, and this Cashew Curry Chicken Salad can certainly make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Cashew Curry Chicken Salad
This is a kicked up version of chicken salad with the great flavor of yellow curry. It worked great in salads, sandwhiches or by itself.
- 2 large chicken breasts about 1.5 lbs
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut chips
- coconut oil cooking spray
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt optional
- 1/2 cup avocado mayo
- 3 tsp yellow curry powder
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp tumeric optional
- 1 pinch chayenne pepper optional
- 1 lemon, juiced
Begin by placing the chicken breasts shiny side up in a plastic Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, and pound the eat until it is an even thickness using a mallot or rolling pin.
Add marinade ingredients to the bag. Seal bag, and massage until chicken is evenly covered.
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Using coconut oil cooking spray, coat pan. Place chicken breasts in pan. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan. Slice in half, and then in strips.
While chicken is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.
Add sliced chicken, coconut, cashews, and cranberries to a large bowl and coat with the dressing. Start by adding half of the dressing, and continue to add more until everything is covered.
Extra dressing can be saved for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Serve on top of a bed of romaine lettuce, or enjoy by itself.
Choosing cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice will make this recipe paleo friendly.
For a lighter version, substitute the avocado mayo with a grass-fed yogurt. Choose a variety that isn't very sour, and omit the lemon juice. You may need to taste and adjust the coconut sugar and spices to account for the tanginess of the yogurt.