Coconut Curry Chicken Salad Wrap


Creamy chicken salad jazzed up with curry powder, carrots, a splash of lime juice, toasted coconut flakes and cashews. If you’re in the mood to try something new without totally venturing out of your food comfort zone, then this is for you! No need to go to a specialty food store for exotic ingredients. Your regular grocer should have everything you'll need. I’m also loving that this is one of those meals that you can prep ahead of time and keep in the fridge for fast lunches and dinners.

This recipe happens to be another that’s inspired by one of my favorite lunch spots in Frankfurt called Kleine Anna. Their unique sandwich combinations leave me thinking about my order lonnnng after I leave their doors. My first attempt at bringing their delicious ideas home had me whipping up these roasted eggplant sandwiches with goat cheese and caramelized onions. I thought it was time to take a swing at my other regular order: a sandwich topped with a creamy curry-carrot spread, sliced turkey and arugula.

To make the meal a little healthier, I cut the carbs and decided to go with a wrap instead of bread, but you can also just eat it on top of a bed of greens with a little lime juice, olive oil and s&p.  I also added chicken breast for lots of low-fat protein that will keep me full. Instead of relying on full-fat cream cheese for flavor, I used non-fat Greek yogurt and added in healthier fats with the coconut and cashews. The result is an absolutely delicious, hearty chicken salad you can feel good about eating! 

So what are you doing for your body with this tasty meal?
  • Keeping yourself full and energized while fighting sugar cravings: All the protein from the chicken and nuts plus the fiber from the carrots and celery slow digestion and keep blood sugar levels from spiking. This means you won't be hungry again for a while and won't have to fight annoying sugar crashes or cravings.
  • Improving blood pressure + lowering stress levels: Celery contains the phytochemical called phthalide, which has shown in clinical traisl to relax muscle tissue in artery walls and thereby increase blood flow. 
  • Stimulating your immune system : Carrots are a great source of alpha- and beta-carotene that the body converts to vitamin A.
  • Helping your vision/eye health: Carrots contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids, that help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. The vitamin A from the alpha- and beta-carotene also boost your body's production of rhodopsin, which you need to see in dim light.
  • Preventing cancer: High carotenoid intake (the stuff that gives carrots its bright pigment) is associated with a decrease of up to 50% in bladder, cervical, prostate, colon and esophageal cancer. The carotenoids acts as strong antioxidants that protect cells from the damage done to DNA by aging and free radials. Read more here
  • Alleviating inflammation and arthritis: Curry powder is a mix of different spices and one of them is tumeric. In the spice world, tumeric is an allstar with strong antioxidant power. It's actually part of the ginger family and its ability to reduce inflammation is attributed to curcuminoids (the compounds that give tumeric that fantastic yellow color that stains everything). One curcuminoid in particular, curcumin, has been the focus of most anti-inflammatory research. Tumeric also improves cholestrol and its anti-tumor properties are showing promising results in animal studies. I'll stop here, but the list goes on. Read more from one of my favorite M.D.s Dr. Andrew Weil here.
  • Boosting heart health: Cashews get a bad reputation because of their carb content, but they actually contain a high-level of heart hearthy monosaturated fat that is shown to be associated with lower levels of heart disease. Not to mention the nuts are filled with important minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and selenium.

Coconut Curry Chicken Salad Wrap

Serves 4
Prep time: 35 min.
1 T. Coconut oil or olive oil
3 chicken breast
1/2 cup cashews roughly chopped or sliced almonds
1/2 coconut flakes (not shavings)
4 stalks of celery
11/2 cup shredded carrots
2 spring onions
Handful of cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2-3 T. coconut cream or sour cream (adjust if needed)
1 lime, juice
2-3 T. curry powder + extra for chicken
1/8 cayenne pepper 
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4-6 large tortillas (depending on how you fill them)
Extra arrugala or other greens (optional)
Toothpicks (optional)

1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and a little curry powder. Bring a large nonstick pan to medium heat, add oil and chicken breasts. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, flipping halfway through. Cooking times will vary depending on thickness of breast (approx. 5-10 minutes of each side, cover pan for thicker pieces).
2. While chicken is cooking, chop celery, spring onions and cilantro and add to large bowl along with shredded carrots and set aside.
3. In a smaller pan on medium-low heat, toast the chopped cashews and coconut shaving, stiring frequently to prevent burning. Once they become aromatic and begin to lightly brown remove from heat, cool and then add to the large bowl.
4. Once chicken is done, allow to cool, chop into small bite-sized pieces (approx. 1/2-inch) and add to bowl.
5. Add yogurt, coconut cream, lime juice, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Mix everything until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. 
6. Fill tortilla with greens and chicken salad, pin together with a toothpick. Serve! Or just enjoy salad over a bed of greens with lime juice and olive oil dressing.

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