I love chicken salad, but unfortunately most of the restaurant or store bought versions contain mayo with not so healthy ingredients including soybean oil. I know soy has been touted as a health food, but in this form it most certainly is no such thing! Fat is a critical part of the diet, no matter what you’ve been told over the past 50 so odd years. Choosing the right fats is important for the function of the body as fat affects all cells, tissues, organs, energy, brain power, and our immune system. Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K must have fat in order to be properly metabolized and used by the body. Our brain is more than 60% fat! We’ve been in the low fat craze for decades and as we can all see just by looking around or talking to friends and family, people are sick and getting sicker. So how does soy oil fit into all this? Let’s talk production.
According to Dr. Kaayla Daniels, PhD, CCN in her book The Whole Soy Story (which is excellent by the way), “between 77-79% of the vegetable oils consumed come from soybeans…it’s in 90% of salad dressings, 72% of baking and frying fats, 88% of margarines, and 76% of salad and cooking oils…Nearly all soy oil used in such products has been partially hydrogenated.” Soy oil goes through a process of high heat, pressure, and deodorizing to cover the rancid smell and taste after processing (which may also includes hexane solvents and nickel catalyst). You can forget the wonderful Omega 3 anti-inflammatory fats too. This amazing fat is heat sensitive causing over half to be destroyed during processing. When fats are damaged they increase oxidation in the body which in turn produces free radicals. In excess, free radicals increase inflammation in the body contributing to degenerating health and loss of vitality. We’re not going to get into GMOs here too, but the majority of soy being produced for consumption is genetically modified which may cause a whole other host of metabolic problems. I choose vitality so anything that can impede that process just doesn’t have a place in my pantry! If you want to make soy a part of your diet look to fermentation. Foods such as natto, tempe, and miso are powerful healing foods that can increase your health and provide essential nutrients to improve your well-being. Source matters!
This recipe is actually mayo free, but you can make your own (it’s not scary, I promise) or purchase some avocado based mayo now available in stores and online (yay!). I hope you enjoy my take on the chicken salad! mmmm I think I want to make some right now!
- 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 carrots, peeled & grated
- 1 med zucchini, grated
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 med garlic clove
- salt to taste
- Blend sauce ingredients until you have a smooth sauce. Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Serve as is or stuffed in avocado (my favorite!)
- For a bit more traditional salad, swap out the cilantro sauce for avocado oil based may (or homemade), dried unsulphured cranberries (check the label for sneaky oils!), and almond slices. Serve over avocado to get more healthy fat for brain power!