Better than the Freezer Aisle: Lean Cuisine Copy Cat Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Topper
When I have a salad for a meal, I don’t want to feel like I am eating a salad. I want it to be a hearty meal, full of toppings of varied texture and tastes. I want it piled high with meat, fresh vegetables and homemade dressing. A life long fan of salads, I admit I don’t take the time to prepare and enjoy a salad a meal very often.
So when I saw that Lean Cuisine had launched a new Salad Additions line to their frozen foods, I fell for the marketing hook, line and sinker. And I was disappointed. The toppings yielded less than 1 cup of total topping, with the chicken portion equaling only 4 Tablespoons. Certainly not enough to turn a salad into a meal. Not to mention I was a little less than excited about the long list of ingredients and odd barley or rice shaped bits in with the vegetables.
As I was contemplating even eating it – the first thing that popped into my head was, “I can make this, and make it healthier and certainly tastier!” And so the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Topper was created! I love having all the ingredients right in the freezer to top my favorite salad greens at any time! And talk about Easy Peasey Prep? All you have to do is take the packets of toppings and dressings out of the freezer in the morning and allow them to thaw on the countertop until lunchtime, or if you are in a pinch (or not a forward planner as I am sometimes) you can always take them straight from the freezer to the micro to defrost and heat before adding to your favorite salad greens.
And of course lastly – COST!! The Lean Cuisine Salad Additions was $2.89 at my local grocer. The ingredients and storage bags for the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Topper was less than $2.25 but yielded more than double the amount of ingredients.
Lean Cuisine Copy Cat Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Topper
lisa @ Onceamonthmom.com
- o.5 pounds chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped
- 0.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped and blanched
- 0.25 cups red pepper, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red raspberry preserves
- 0.125 cups olive oil
- 0.125 cups rice vinegar
Place desired salad greens on plate. Top with chicken, dried cranberries, pecans, broccoli, red pepper and red onion. In a small bowl, whisk together red raspberry preserves, olive oil and rice vinegar. Top salad with dressing and enjoy.
Place all salad ingredients (not including lettuce) into a quart sized freezer storage bag. Whisk dressing ingredients together and place in pint size freezer storage bag. Place small bag of dressing into larger bag of salad toppings. Label and freeze. TO SERVE: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw. Place toppings atop your favorite salad greens. Knead dressing packet and pour over salad.
Servings: 1 hearty salad
**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann