IMPERIAL CHICKEN SALAD
Not your run of the mill chicken salad! I know I said I wasn’t going to cook on Christmas day, after cooking holiday dishes for two weeks, but Steve bought Lilly Belle five pounds of vegan popcorn nuggets for Christmas and I just had to make a chicken salad out of a portion of it. Technically I didn’t cook – I assembled. Like I said, not your ordinary chicken salad. Imperial!
Makes 8 cups
SALAD INGREDIENTS >
1 c. diced English cucumber
1/2 c. sm. diced celery
1/4 c. sm. dice sweet onion
1/4 c. sm. dice sweet red roasted pepper
1 lb. or about 3 c. Delight Soy Popcorn Vegan Chicken, diced sm.
16 oz. pkg. House Foods extra firm block tofu, squeezed in tofu cloth to extract as much liquid as possible, break apart and mash in separate bowl with fork into even size crumbles
1 c. froz. peas, thawed and towel-dried – to prevent water from entering the salad
1/4 c. pine (pignoli) nuts
1 T. light-colored mild sesame seed oil – I used Roland brand
1 t. dried tarragon
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
fresh grind black pepper
DRESSING INGREDIENTS >
1 c. whipped till stiff peaks and chilled Whip Topping by Rich’s – find in frozen food department
8 oz. pkg. Daiya cheddar style cheese shreds
3/4 c. Vegenaise Grapeseed oil mayonnaise
7 dried apricots in the buff – meaning natural/no sulfites – by Made In Nature/organic
1/4 t. malic acid (flavor enhancer and citrus component)
In extra-large mixing bowl combine all salad ingredients. Quickly and lightly toss to distribute evenly.
In separate bowl combine all dressing ingredients. Stir to evenly incorporate.
Spoon all of dressing into chicken/veggie bowl. Toss gently to evenly coat all ingredients. Refrigerate for service later or use immediately.
If refrigerated overnight the salad will have a more cohesive nature than when served immediately. Both texture great. The more oily-textured version has an eggy texture, better suited for a salad presentation, whereas the refrigerated overnight version has a more creamy texture suited for sandwiches or salad.