Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

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I’ve always envied those people that can write out a menu plan for their families. Me, I’ve never been one to take the time to make a menu, and the few times I have, I’ve never been able to stick to it.  Maybe I’m just too lazy, maybe too much of a procrastinator, but I just can’t seem to ever stick to meal plan.

When my husband and I started our healthier eating habits this year, I knew the one thing I had to change about myself was the fact that I desperately needed to make some type of meal plan. So I came up with a system to help us avoid picking up takeout so much for dinner and hitting fast food for lunch.

Breakfast came easy, all I did was find a cereal we could all agree on – frosted wheat squares, and kept some milk, juice and berries in the fridge.

Dinner is still a day to day decision, but now it’s a decision I force myself to make before I take my son to school in the morning, instead of 7pm that night. That way I can pick up additional ingredients I don’t have for dinner during the day, or take the meat out of the freezer to thaw.

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Our biggest blunder though was always lunch. I rarely had leftovers for my son to take to school. My husband was routinely getting fast food, and I was either getting fast food  or not eating at all. Lunches that we were picking up at fast casual type restaurants, things that we thought were healthy, were actually well over 1000 calories.

So for lunch, I keep it simple. I got these little food cubes that make packing a healthy lunch really easy. I pack all of us a half sandwich, like this basil chicken salad sandwich, and then I use the two small cubes to add fresh fruit or veggies.

I’m always on the lookout for new and healthy items I can add to our lunches. I couldn’t believe it when I found these new Green Giant Veggie Puffs. The cheddar flavor actually tastes and has the texture of those puffs we all love so much, but they’re made with veggies! They’re really low in fat and calories and are the perfect guilt free accompaniment to our healthy lunches.

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There’s two flavors – Cheddar Veggie Puffs and Sweet Potato Fries. Both have a similar texture and great taste. My favorite are the sweet potato fries, and my husband’s favorite is the cheddar veggie puffs. This chicken salad is a great summer salad that can be served in a sandwich as shown or over a bed of greens for lunch or dinner. It’s packed full of veggies, and when made with a light mayonnaise, it’s a healthier than fast homemade lunch.

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Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
the juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
2/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
salt anad pepper to taste
olive oil

Directions:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Salt and pepper chicken. Drizzle pan with olive oil. Brown chicken on each side until internal temperature is 165°. Remove from skillet and let cool.

Add lemon, basil, red bell pepper, celery, red onion and mayonnaise to a large bowl. Chop cooled chicken and add to bowl. Mix well.

Serve chicken salad over greens or in a sandwich.

This post sponsored by Green Giant. All opinions 100% mine. 

12 Responses to “Lemon Basil Chicken Salad”

  1. 1
    Brenda@SugarFreeMom — May 23, 2014 @ 10:09 am

    Delicious! Love lemon and basil together, perfect for chicken salad!

  2. 2
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — May 23, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    So glad you shared this sandwich! Lunch is always a place where I struggle as well so this is perfect.

  3. 3
    Martha @ A Family Feast — May 23, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    I love the addition of lemon and basil to a traditional chicken salad! Looks delicious!

  4. 4
    Isabelle @ Crumb — May 23, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    I am honestly the *worst* when it comes to planning lunches… unless I have a tupperware ready to go in the fridge with leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, I almost never bother to pack anything. I’m loving the sound of this chicken salad, though… if I had some of that in the fridge, I most definitely wouldn’t forget to bring a lunch!

  5. 5

    Lemon brightens every meal. Love this addition.

  6. 6

    I am so hungry and this looks awesome!

  7. 7
    Marly — May 23, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    I always think I’m gonna pack lunch the night before, but it never happens. OK. Maybe not *never* but it usually doesn’t happen. I’ve found a vegan chicken replacement that’s so good – would love to try it with your recipe. How cool will it be if this works! Thanks for your inspiring recipe and post!

  8. 8

    I saw those veggie puffs in the grocery store today and thought they sounded good. I’m so glad to hear that they are! And, by the way, I’ve never ever made a menu plan either. I’m too much of a spontaneous cook to stick to one 🙂

  9. 9
    Lauren Kelly Nutrition — May 23, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

    This salad looks delicious! Love lemon and basil 🙂

  10. 10

    We fall into the same ruts with too much eating out/takeout. I love your container here — and what a great idea of what to pack your sandwich with!

  11. 11

    I love the addition of basil in the chicken salad….I LOVE chicken salad and basil so this will be a sure thing in my refrigerator this summer.

  12. 12
    Nutmeg Nanny — May 27, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    Oh I LOVE the addition of lemon to this salad. It looks amazing.

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