Why hello there! Shep and I just got back from a wonderful trip to Portland, ME. Seriously, this place is phenomenal. I think I happened to be there on the most perfect weekend (since I don’t handle cold weather well…) since it was in the 60’s and sunny one day and in the 50’s and drizzled a bit the next. I had bought myself a brand new umbrella to use, so I was even excited about the rain! (Thank you, Target, for always knowing my needs…)
Anyway, I wanted to take a second to talk about all of the reasons that Portland, ME is amazing. First of all, it is beautiful. It is right on the water, and just a beautiful city. Secondly, the people were so friendly. I made friends with someone in every store that I went in (yeah yeah…I know they were just trying to sell me something, but I am more likely to buy if I am running my mouth too much to notice the price tag…). Also, I don’t think we encountered a single chain restaurant–with the exception of Starbucks–in the entire city. The food was mainly locally sourced and absolutely delicious. Gluten-free was a “norm,” and no one looked at me like I had 18 heads when I asked to substitute menu items out for a more “Paleo” option. Actually, it seemed more like a standard way to order there. Plus, I had some amazing company on this trip. We went up there with Shep’s parents and had a wonderful time spending the weekend with them. I also met the extended family and enjoyed celebrating his grandmother’s 90th birthday! In conclusion…Portland, ME…you rock.
So what I wanted to talk about recipe-wise tonight are the “canoes” that we make to take for lunches. I know that I have been wired and programmed through my 30 years of consuming food on this earth to think that lunch should be picked up and eaten with my hands. Since that is rather odd to do with a salad, we use other vehicles to make this happen. Our favorite of which is the cucumber canoe.
The cucumber canoe is great because not only are you able to pick it up and eat it with your hands, you may also fill it with delicious “salads” that you may typically eat on bread (or have eaten on bread, or still eat on bread). Plus, it has a fun crunch to it! We have put tuna, chicken, and crab salad in our canoes so far and haven’t been disappointed yet! Plus, it is so simple! All you have to do is cut the cucumber long-ways and use a spoon to scrape out most of the innards. We like to leave a little bit of the “meat” for taste and a bit of a refreshing “cool” taste.
The biggest road block that we came to when making these salads was the mayo. Thankfully, we came across Melissa Joulwan’s website that has made all of the recipes possible. Here is a direct link to her homemade Paleo mayo that is absolutely fantastic.
The second link of Melissa’s that I want to share is her firecracker tuna salad. This stuff is absolutely, positively, amazing. I’m pretty sure that Shep and I would be able to eat it every single week if we wanted. It is a perfect combination of tuna and spicy and the “coolness” of the cucumber really just pulls this whole meal together rather nicely. Anyway (I could rave on and on…), here is a direct link to her firecracker tuna salad!
So now I finally get to the recipe that I want to share this evening. It is a Curry Cashew Chicken Salad.
8 oz grilled and shredded chicken breast (We just used a salt and pepper rub for seasoning)
1 cup Curried Cashews-broken into small pieces (Disclaimer: I know that you are able to make your own Paleo friendly curry cashews and that it isn’t that labor-intensive, but Shep and I took the easy route. We bought them at Kroger on the natural food aisle..) (Shhhhh)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons of mayo (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Put into the cucumber and let sit overnight for the best flavors.