I literally spent forever in the kitchen last night trying to create a hearty chicken salad that was flavorful and with less calories than normal chicken salad. After tasting it and tweaking it a million times (thanks too to my James for being my guinea pig) I think that I nailed it. Check out my recipe and tell me what you think.

D Dennison-TSM

In sticking with my theme to move away from mayonnaise, I again turn to my new friend plain non-fat Greek yogurt. I know, you can say it-yuck! I have seen recipes with this as a substitute before, but I have never given it a chance till now. And quite honestly it is my new friend, non-fat Greek yogurt that gave me such a struggle with nailing down a great tasting chicken salad as I could taste the yogurt more than the seasonings and chicken. But I do believe that this is now a yummy alternative that will have you enjoying one of your favorites with less calories.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (chopped-I put mine in the food processor, but if you do, just pulse it, it will be better if the pieces of chicken are not too fine), 1 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt, a splash or two of lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, pinch of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and pepper, 1 tsp of dried dill, 2 tsp celery seed, 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (I used cranraisins-pomegranate, you can essentially use any dried fruit like cherries or even raisins), 1/4 cup diced apple and 1 celery stalk (diced)

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, lemon, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt/pepper, dill and celery seed. In a medium bowl add your chicken and the yogurt mixture, fold together until well blended. Now fold in the cranberries, apple and celery stalk.

I stuffed whole wheat pita's with baby arugula (a natural vitamin C and Potassium booster), some chicken salad, more arugula and slide in a few sliced pieces of Roma tomatoes.

CALORIE SAVINGS:

1 cup of mayonnaise weighs in at 1,495 calories with 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt coming in at only 128 calories and that is just the calories, you gain protein with the yogurt and lose tons of sodium and fat.

With the boneless skinless chicken breast you'll save about half of the fat calories and a third of the overall calories.