Can I go on a rant here? Celery is GROSS. I don’t hate many foods but celery is #1. Especially when it’s in something like chicken salad or waldorf salad. WHY would you ruin something so delicious with your awful bitter gritty flavor, celery?! Just why.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up here.
I get it. One week after Thanksgiving, and the leftovers struggle was already SO REAL. You’d made 50 gallons of turkey stock/broth, every kind of soup imaginable with said broth and leftover turkey, turkey sandwiches, thrown turkey on salads, even in your morning eggs, maybe you’ve even thrown it in stir fries…and now we’re TWO weeks later. Creativity is running low, people.
Well. I hope you don’t have any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving left, because newsflash: it’s probably spoiled by now. Whomp whomp. But what about that cranberry sauce? Debatable on how long that stuff stays around…a month? Doesn’t taste bad yet to me (in fact, I think it gets better as it sits!), so I’m still gonna eat it all up. And honestly? I’m kind of missing all those turkey leftovers I had. Easy meals for days! So I made my Apple & Herb roast chicken and I’m in total leftovers mode again. Could I have possibly made this roast chicken even more delicious than it was when it came out of the oven…maybe. Is there anything better than golden-brown-and-delicious chicken skin?? Debatable.
So how about a classic waldorf salad, thanksgiving-ed up?
Yep, I just definitely made up that word. Sorry not sorry. At all.
Here’s the back story: every time I go to Trader Joe’s, my mom asks me to get their wine country chicken salad. The woman is obsessed. To be fair, it’s pretty damn good. Except if I eat it, I feel pretty damn awful. It’s probably the soybean oil, modified cornstarch, carageenan, and caramel color talking that TJ’s puts in there. Um, ew.
So obviously, I had to make my own. And omit the celery. Because celery is GROSS. You people who say it has no flavor are WRONG. It has a flavor: disgusting. Fact. Also, no green apples here. Let’s go with ones that are local, in season, and don’t make your whole mouth pucker when you just think of them? Ok, good. Try honeycrisp, suncrisp, gala, or fuji on for size.
The best part? (Besides having no celery?) Whether you’re using leftover roast chicken or turkey, you’re using up TWO different leftovers here. Because I know if you’re like me, you still have a buttload of cranberry sauce left. Not because nobody ate it on Thanksgiving, but because you 1) had to use up the costco size bag of them because WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THOSE CRANBERRIES and 2) you made a giant batch because you were afraid everyone would gobble it up and you wouldn’t have leftovers. I’m in both those categories. Cranberry sauce for
days weeks. I’ve already made some delicious Cranberry Chia Pudding, so now I’m moving on to greener pastures (turkey pun, ha). Literally. Because this is a salad.
Either way you look at it, this Paleo Waldorf Salad is a win-win. Jam-packed with chopped apples, onions, walnuts, homemade mayonnaise and cranberry sauce, (plus your leftover turkey or chicken) where could you go wrong? NOWHERE.
Well, maybe if you put celery in it. Yuck.
You can also totally make this autoimmune-protocol friendly by omitting the walnuts and substituting my egg-free paleo mayonnaise!
- 2 cups chopped roast chicken or turkey (cold)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (homemadeor store bought)**
- ¼ cup cranberry sauce
- 1 medium apple, diced (I like honeycrisp, suncrisp or gala)
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts**
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ tsp sea salt + pepper, to taste
- romaine lettuce leaves or mixed salad greens, for serving
- optional: 1 cup leftover roasted butternut or delicata squash, chopped
- Stir together the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce in a large bowl. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bonus points if you want to stir in some roasted chopped squash, like delicata or butternut. I had some lying around, so I threw it in...DELICIOUS.
**for AIP: substitute egg-free mayo and omit the walnuts & pepper.