Trio of Chicken Salad Cups for all appetites! Served on Bariatric Portion Plates (details here)
One of my dearest wishes when I started Bariatric Cookery some 7 years ago was to persuade pre- and post-op patients that they could still eat well and with their friends and family. I had suffered the isolation of ‘different diet’ foods and meals for years and wanted to move on from that experience as well as lose weight. I hope that my long-term followers will have seen that we still work hard on that aim – the majority of our recipes and dishes can be eaten by the whole family (all together if liked) just in varying proportions.
Yes, you have to go through the stages of eating after WLS but when you have reached the final ‘food for life’ stage this is now your ‘new normal’. So we forget diet foods, eating something completely different to the rest of the family or our friends, we just cook and eat what I call bariatric-friendly food that everyone can enjoy. Trust me most non-WLS eaters don’t know the difference. All we have done is either specially develop or adapt those favourites (and new ideas too) so that they comply with the bariatric regime.
So today’s recipe illustrates this perfectly and my own family have been used as an example …
We’re a bit like the 3 bears – most days there’s Mr B, myself and Baby B (who is a 6ft strapping young man!). That’s where the similarities end because Baby B has the biggest appetite and food needs in our set up; Mr B has a fairly ‘normal’ one but he’s trying to be careful; and then there’s me a bypass patient (over 7 years post-op) with the smallest (but certainly most nutrient specific) requirement.
We still eat together most evenings and all eat the same thing but just in different proportions – no one has any complaints. My son and husband love the food I prepare and I enjoy it because it’s good, frees me from multiple dish cooking and we all know nutritionally it’s very sound for all of us.
One of my pre-op ‘quick-shop and prepare’ favourites was a chicken salad. Shopped for quickly by purchasing a rotisserie chicken and bag of coleslaw type salad and mixing with a few home store-cupboard ingredients for a speedy meal. It worked every time I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, was running home late from the office, and satisfied all appetites without calling the delivery service or take-out.
We still have it … the same mix of chicken (but with the skin removed before chopping), varying coleslaw type salad mixes (where the dressing comes separately and can be discarded) and the addition of some simple and easy extras like a hastily prepared home-made dressing that is low-fat, plus a few judicious extras to get the flavour and nutrients high – things like nuts, seeds, herbs and fruit as liked.
Serving or portioning is also a doddle since I know my son will easily demolish a 1½ cup portion, Mr B will be satisfied with a 1 cup and I will manage a ½ cup one when hungry. Those only shortly out of surgery may well be satisfied with ¼ cup. For ease I measure these in our Bariatric Portion, Cook and Serve Cups. They look good when turned out and simply topped with a sprig of parsley and a couple of salted almonds. Indeed good enough that when I prepared some 30 portions recently for a lunch party someone thought I had brought the caterers in!
So there you have it – great food, nutritionally sound and perfectly portioned – cop yourself a cup from the recipe below. The recipe will make 3½ cups of salad to portion as you please.
Bariatric Portion, Cook and Serve Cups (details here)
The recipe quantities will fill 1 x 1½ cup size; 1 x 1 cup size; and 2 x ½ cup size measuring cups – you can adjust according to how many people you are catering for and the size of their appetites. The largest 1½ cup size served my son very comfortably (he has a ‘normal’ man-sized appetite and this was a main meal portion as opposed to a light lunch one); the 1 cup proved ideal for Mr B (another ‘normal’ size portion but not huge for a main meal); the ½ cup size was perfect for me as a long-term WLS post-op patient. The smallest ¼ cup would have been ideal for early post-op patients in terms of quantity. I packed away the extra ½ cup portion into my Bariatric Bento Box for lunch the following day.
Cup of Chicken Salad in the Bariatric Bento Lunch Box (details here)
CUP OF CHICKEN SALAD
450 g/1 lb skinless and boneless cooked chicken (I purchased a ready-cooked rotisserie chicken)
200 g/7 oz coleslaw salad mix (I used a Costco Asian Cashew Chopped Salad with cabbage, carrots, celery, coriander/cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds, almonds and wonton strips in the mix)
5 tbsp extra light mayonnaise
5 tbsp 0% fat thick Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
parsley sprigs and salted almonds to garnish
- Dice the chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl.
- Add the coleslaw mix (chopping any large pieces/leaves into smaller ones).
- Mix the mayonnaise with the yogurt and salt and pepper to taste. At this stage you could add some mustard, horseradish, curry paste and any other condiment to spice up the mixture if liked. Add to the chicken mixture and toss to coat.
- Serve as is or use to fill measuring cups lined with cling film for easy release, turning out onto a serving plate.
- Garnish with a parsley sprig and a couple of salted almonds to serve.
MAKES: 3½ cups
WLS PORTION: ¼-½ cup
CALORIES PER ½ CUP: 140
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