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Healthy Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe
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Healthy Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

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03.27.12
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Bite it! HG's Nutty-Good Salad with Chicken
HG's Nutty-Good Salad with Chicken

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut...

Before you shove a fork into a giant salad, stop and ask yourself a few questions: Is my salad loaded with heavy items? Is the chicken covered with an unnecessary fatty coating? Is it worth its calorie price tag? This swap passes the test with flying colors -- chew without fear!

Ingredients:
1/2 oz. (about 2 tbsp.) chopped pecan halves (8 - 10 halves)
1 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 tsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
Drop vanilla extract
2 dashes salt
One 4-oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlet, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness (see HG Tip!)
Dash each garlic powder and onion powder
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup mixed greens
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. mandarin orange segments packed in juice, drained
1 tbsp. sweetened dried cranberries
1 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free or low-fat balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:
To make the candied pecans, lay a medium piece of aluminum foil near the stove. Place pecans, sugar, and butter in a skillet, and bring to medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, cook until butter and sugar have melted and mixed and pecans are coated in the mixture, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and a dash of salt. Spread mixture onto the foil and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, and remaining dash of salt. If needed, clean skillet. Re-spray skillet and return to medium-high heat. Cook chicken for about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Toss lettuce with mixed greens in a bowl. Top with celery, oranges, cranberries, and cheese. Slice chicken and add to salad. Sprinkle with candied pecans. Drizzle or serve with vinaigrette, and eat up!

MAKES 1 SERVING

Serving Size: 1 salad with dressing (entire recipe)
Calories: 368
Fat: 16g
Sodium: 722mg
Carbs: 24.5g
Fiber: 4.5g
Sugars: 17.5g
Protein: 31g

PointsPlus® value 9*

HG Tip! To pound the chicken cutlet, either lay it between two pieces of plastic wrap or place it in a sealable bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Using a meat mallet (or other heavy utensil with a flat surface), pound it until uniform in thickness.

Fight it! T.G.I. Friday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad
T.G.I. Friday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

... Sometimes You Don't.

It's a rough world out there for those of us looking to keep tabs on our food intake. Even when you select an item that SEEMS like it would be a good choice, spoilers often sneak in there. Vegetables are clearly good for you; chicken breast is a good lean source of protein; nuts are full of nutrients and vitamins... So this salad from Friday's should be a safe bet, yes? NO. When the chicken is coated with too many pecans, it's no longer lean. Add in more pecans (this time cooked up with loads of sugar), blue cheese, and an oily dressing (with an insane 450 calories and 46g fat), and ACK! Frightening as the nutritionals are, this salad does sound appealing. So we set out to make it over. We figured out how to get the best bang for our calorie buck with those pecans (the chicken "crust" is so not worth it), loaded up the salad with lots of the good stuff, and kept the chicken simple and delicious. Suddenly, the world doesn't seem so scary...

Serving Size: 1 salad with dressing
Calories: 1,080
Fat: 71g
Sodium: 1,650mg
Carbs: 76g
Fiber: 11g
Sugars: n.a.
Protein: 39g

PointsPlus® value 29*

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CHEW ON THIS:

Mmmm, it's March 27th, National Spanish Paella Day. Celebrate in a lightened-up way with our paella swap -- so good!

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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