The recipe featured here is from my dear cousin Glenda, who is a registered dietitian and also a really great cook. We spent a lot of time together growing up with a 10-year age difference between us, her being the oldest. I always really looked up to Glenda – and still do – and summers in her yard playing with the water hose, riding bikes, and hula-hooping are some of my favorite memories, along with eating her chicken salad. We had late night slumber parties with all kinds of activities including movies, music, fixing hair and make-up, and more food of course. And the “let’s stay up all night and talk” kind of things where some of her “pearls of wisdom” were discreetly disguised as just random “girl talk.” Glenda taught me many things as a girl and while I don’t see her as often now that we are both mothers, working women, and jugglers-of-life extraordinaire, some of the many life lessons she taught me while
I ran across something that made me think of Glenda, her pineapple chicken salad, and some of those pearls of wisdom she unknowingly bestowed upon me while spending time with her in the summers. It think it sums it up perfectly!
I asked her to ‘tweak’ her recipe several years ago and include pineapple just for me. This result is this amazing recipe below. Serve it on bread, on a bed of lettuce, or in a scooped-out pineapple for a cool, tropical summer delight.
Be like a Pineapple.
“Be confident in who you are today. Listen to your own heart, know your own worth, and stand up for what you believe in. Trust yourself and believe in your own abilities. Never compare yourself to others. Be brave, be fierce, be strong. Have thick skin and never let what is happening on the outside stop you from being whole on the inside. Remember that it’s o.k. to have a tough exterior, but do not let this harden you from the world. Let others see your soul – be genuine, be gracious, be kind. Always remember to stand tall and stay sweet. A strong mind and a kind heart will always prevail.” Bryan Anthonys.
I asked Glenda one year, somewhere well into my adult years, to ‘tweak’ her chicken salad recipe several years ago and include pineapple just for me. This result is this amazing recipe below. Serve it on bread, on a bed of lettuce, or in a scooped-out pineapple for a cool, tropical summer delight. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Glenda’s Pineapple Chicken Salad (serves 6)
- 2 cups cubed cooked white meat chicken breast
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained (can use fresh pineapple listed below – you can also experiment with other tropical fruits mixed in – try a can of mixed tropical fruit and see what you like!)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional: can eliminate pecans OR use sliced almonds instead)
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (can use “light” if preferred)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 6 lettuce leaves
- 6 sandwich rolls, split OR fresh pineapple halved with pineapple scooped out
- In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the mayonnaise, onion salt, garlic salt and paprika; add to chicken mixture and mix well. Serve on rolls with lettuce OR in a hulled pineapple “boat” with a lettuce garnish.