Warm Chicken-Pesto Salad

Pesto is just yummy. Pesto-Chicken Salad is even yummier! Image courtesy of  zole4 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Pesto is just yummy. Pesto-Chicken Salad is even yummier! Image courtesy of zole4 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I love this recipe. However, with fall weather loudly knocking at my door, I’m making this tonight, but trying a hot version. Oh yeah, baby.

Warm Chicken-Pesto Salad
Net Carbs: 2.8g
WW PointsPlus: 6
Makes 4 servings (Note: Serving size of chicken pesto mix = 1/2C)

Ingredients
2C chopped cooked chicken (leftovers work wonders here!), remove skin and any fat
1 celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
1/3C mayonnaise with Olive Oil
1/3C finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. pesto (recipe below or you can use store pesto)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8C baby spinach

Directions
Combine celery, mayo, onion, parsley, pesto, salt and pepper in a bowl.  If using freshly cooked chicken, chop chicken while it is still warm and toss into bowl and mix.  Otherwise, warm chicken to desired temperature in a microwave on medium heat for 1-2 minutes; transfer to bowl and mix. Serve immediately on top of baby spinach. Eat up.

Lemon-Basil Pesto
Net Carbs: 0.5
WW Points Plus: 3
Yields 2 cups of pesto
Serving Size: 2 tbsp/serving

Ingredients
2C basil leaves, packed
½C extra virgin olive oil
¼C pine nuts
1/2C grated parmesan cheese
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp lemon zest, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Combine basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and zest in a food processor; and slowly add in the olive oil during blending. Blend until desired texture. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. To freeze, it’s best to divide it into smaller portions so you don’t have to defrost the entire batch. Hint: You can freeze in ice cube trays and then store the “cubes” in freezer bags.


Low Carb Ranch & Russian Dressing Recipes

I’m making a couple of low carb salad dressings tonight. I got both recipes – Ranch and Russian dressings – from the Atkins site. 

Both require mayo, so I’ll be using mayo made with olive oil. I’ve made these before and they tend to be thicker than normal salad dressings, which make them a perfect dip for veggie snacks.

Since they are thicker, I highly recommend only using 1 tbsp for your salad. Just place your salad in a bowl, add 1 tbsp of the dressing and start mixing the dressing into the salad. I know the recipe calls for 2.5 tbsp per serving, but the truth is you really just need one tbsp if you mix it with the salad.

Ranch Dressing
Carb Count: 1 per serving
Points: 2
Serving Size: 2.5 tbsp/serving

Ingredients:
3/4 C Mayo made with Olive Oil
1/2 C Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh Chives, Chopped
2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Garlic Clove, Minched
1 Tsp Fresh Dill, Chopped
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Russian Dressing
Carb Count: 0 per serving
Points: 2
Serving Size: 2 tbsp/serving

Ingredients:
3/4 C Mayo made with Olive Oil
1/4 C Low-Carb Ketchup (or Reduced Sugar Ketchup)
1 Tbsp Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2 Tsp Fresh Horseradish
1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.