Skip the watercress and cucumber, and opt for heartier fare for your Mother’s Day Tea with this easy allergy-friendly recipe for Cherry Pecan Chicken Salad. Serve this delicious soy-free and egg-free delight with gluten-free bread or crackers for all your guests to enjoy worry-free. Or just make a nutritious lunch of adorably shaped finger sandwiches for the kiddos and a stuffed tomato for yourself. Either way, try some today!
- 1 oven baked chicken breast (see my recipe for this here… or use a can, leftovers, or even turkey)
- ½ cup pecan pieces (or walnuts, almonds, etc.)
- ½ cup diced green onion (or leeks, onion, etc.)
- ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries, raisins, etc.)
- ¾ cup soy-free veganaise (or mayo, vegan unsweetened yogurt, etc… or mix these ½ and ½)
- sea salt to taste (or salt free substitute)
- ground peppercorns to taste
- optional: heirloom tomato to stuff, gluten-free crackers to top, artisan lettuce to fill, gluten-free bread for tea sandwiches, etc.
Bake and cut a chicken breast into cubes. (See my roasted cocorico chicken with root veggies recipe here, and my chicken with sautéed mixed greens recipe here.) Wash and dice the green onion.
Measure and mix all of the ingredients. Add sea salt and pepper according to your taste and sodium requirements.
Here I cut the top off of a large red and purple heirloom variety tomato, and then scooped out some of the center. Then I spooned a good portion of chicken salad into it and garnished the top with ground red peppercorns and green onion.
The green and purple artisan lettuce it’s resting on, also makes a wonderful carb-free wrap for the chicken salad. Those are gluten-free vegan Mary’s Gone Crackers in the Super Seed variety… yum!
The chicken salad was the perfect filling for the gluten-free tea sandwiches I served at the Spring Garden Mother’s Day Tea.
To go beyond tea sandwich triangles, simply press a cookie cutter into the bread, and fill with chicken salad. (Tulip, daisy, and butterfly shapes were my choice for the tea, but you can see bunny bread here with my carrot crouton recipe.)
Thanks Mom, for all the chicken salad you’ve made me over the years!
P.S. If you’re looking for another easy version of this, try my turkey salad recipe here.
This super easy no cook recipe can be made well in advance of any gathering, or just made to enjoy a slice at a time straight from the freezer. It’s also a great alternative to the parade of traditional office birthday cakes. It has a gluten-free nut crust that may be enjoyed by almost everyone, which is also why it’s written with dairy-free ice cream. It can easily be made with traditional dairy… but in this way vegans, allergy sufferers, and the lactose intolerant may happily partake. For this occasion, I used pint sizes of coconut milk “ice-cream”. (A mint chocolate chip pint was used here for the bottom layer, chocolate for the middle layer with the cherries, and coconut for the top layer with the chocolate chunks.) It’s richer than the almond milk variety (which is also tasty), and it always surprises people when I tell them it’s dairy-free. Previously, I’ve even used a gallon sized regular Neapolitan ice-cream and just split up the colors for the layers. You can use whatever you have left in the freezer or even add more layers! Add multiple kinds of nuts, chips, or chunks… whatever is in your pantry. For this recipe, no rules are just right!
- 3 cups pecans (or pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts…)
- 10 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil (or regular butter, dairy-free butter…)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (or coconut sugar, brown sugar…)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bag frozen sweet pitted cherries (or pitted fresh, 15 oz can in sugar syrup…)
- 1 bag vegan dark chocolate mini-chunks (or dairy-free, traditional chocolate chips…)
- 3 flavors/pints (here I used mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and coconut) dairy-free coconut milk “ice-cream” (or almond milk, soy milk, sugar-free, dairy milk ice cream…)
Place the cherries in a strainer over a bowl, and set aside to drain. (The leftover cherry juice makes a great sweetener so you can add more greens to a smoothie!) Place the pecans in a quart size freezer bag (because it’s stronger than sandwich bags) and break them up using a kitchen-mallet/meat-tenderizer. It’s so much more fun than chopping! Microwave the coconut oil in a glass bowl just until it softens. (Extra-virgin coconut oil is so good for the skin that it can even be found in the vitamin section of Whole Foods as a supplement.) Then add the crushed pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well, then pour/push into the bottom of a coconut oil “greased” springform pan. Smooth it out evenly with a spatula so that the entire bottom is covered. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until it feels frozen and solid. During this time, take out the mint chocolate chip to soften it. (Keep in mind that regular ice-cream melts quicker than vegan “ice-cream”, so if using the traditional stuff- take it out later!) When the nut crust is frozen and the quart has melted enough, smooth the “ice-cream” over the crust evenly with a spatula. Freeze the pan and take out the chocolate pint to melt. Spread the chocolate pint on when the previous layer has refrozen solid. Gently push the drained cherries into the “ice-cream” (= chocolate covered cherries). Freeze the pan again, and take out the coconut pint. When everything’s ready, spread on the last layer. Top this with the chocolate chunks & softly press them into the coconut “ice-cream”. Cover it and keep it frozen until it’s almost time for dessert. (Cutting through it is easier if you run the knife under hot water first.) It’s always great to have a stand-by gluten-free vegan desert recipe, so no one has to be left out of the fun. This easy one is a lot of fun to make with kiddos, as it has very little to measure and requires no knives until serving time. Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer and wrapped as individual slices for an occasional sweet-treat! Happy Un-birthday! 🙂 Faithfully Yours,