Today I did the big back to school lunch stock up at the grocery store. You know, the big pantry stock up, full of granola bars, cups of fruit, and fish crackers? The most expensive trip of the year. Ha! I love packing lunches. I know I sound crazy but I do. I make little boxes full of treats she loves. I love knowing exactly what she's eating and how much. That's not a crack at schools, her school is amazing with lunches, but she is not always the best at making choices.
I've been working hard this summer making better choices for our everyday lunches and I was thrilled when Willow Tree contacted me to see if I'd like to try two of their new tasty twists on their classic chicken salad. Let's be honest, Willow Tree Chicken salad is the only chicken salad worth eating. Do we remember when I was pregnant with Emmalee and it's all I wanted to eat? I don't have the excuse of being pregnant anymore, but still I love it and always bring some home from the store.
I was really excited that one of the new flavors is Willow Tree Avocado Chicken Salad. I'm a sucker for avocado and could put it on everything. Willow Tree's Avocado Chicken Salad is made with Avèyo, an avocado-based mayo alternative that has 70% less fat and 50% fewer calories than regular chicken salad. The Avèyo is made only with Hass avocado, white vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and lime juice. According to Willow Tree, "Avèyo purees the avocado at the peak of ripeness, and uses it in place of the eggs and most of the oil used in traditional mayo brands which maintains the creamy texture and delicious flavor one expects from a classic chicken salad." The only other ingredients are premium white meat chicken and dried cranberries, which makes the Avocado Chicken Salad a lighter, gluten-free, dairy-free and better-for-you option that is perfect for lunches!
Like I said, I've been working on making healthier meals, and decided the Avocado Chicken salad would be perfect to make an Avocado Chicken Salad BLT Lettuce Wrap.
In a pan, cook 2 pieces of bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, let cool, and crumble.
Wash 1 large romaine lettuce leaf and lay it on the plate. Add 1/2 cup Willow Tree Avocado Chicken Salad.
Halve 5 grape tomatoes and spread across Avocado Chicken Salad.
Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top of Avocado Chicken Salad and tomatoes.
Roll up Romaine lettuce and enjoy!
Dave is not a huge fan of avocado (it's fine, means more for me!), but he loves a good kick of heat so he was excited to see the new Willow Tree Sriracha Chicken Salad! The classic chicken salad gets an extra kick of the hot, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. There was no way he was going to eat my Avocado Chicken Salad BLT Lettuce Wrap so I made him a Sriracha Chicken Salad Grilled Cheese for lunch.
Again, super easy.
Butter two pieces of bread and place in a skillet warmed at medium-low heat. Top each piece of bread with 1 piece of cheese (he liked it with Swiss but it's up to you!)
Cook until bread is golden brown and cheese is melty.
Remove from the pan and place on a plate.
Spread 1/2 cup of Willow Tree Sriracha Chicken Salad on one piece of bread, top with remaining piece of bread, and enjoy!
I was surprised by how much I loved the new salads, because you know, usually the sequel isn't as good as the original, but both were so yummy! I was also surprised to see that the Willow Tree Company is only a couple of towns over from us! This huge, delicious, company started in 1954 as a family farm in Attleboro before growing into a leader of deli and freezer products. I love being able to support local companies!
I loved learning that in addition to big supermarkets like Shaw's, Hannaford, Big Y and Trucchi's, I can pick up Willow Tree products at their own retail store in Attleboro! And at $7.99-$8.99 a container, you know I'm buying these in bulk!
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