Ranch Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumbers

The Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was the Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers. After a couple days of hashing out ideas…only one thing stuck in my mind….when I was smaller, and if I was good, my mom would let us have ants on a log (peanut butter and raisins on celery), but that wouldn’t be much of a challenge. I finally decided I would hollow out a veggie but what? I was in luck, the produce guys were unloading a bumper crop of veggies at Publix as I was browsing through. The cucumbers looked beautiful. I popped quite a few in the cart along with a yellow squash, and a zucchini or two.

I have always loved cucumbers. My Papa grew them fresh in his garden every summer. Almost every Sunday he would make a cucumber salad with vinegar and sugar. The taste of the salad was too3 strong and sour for my sister and I, so he would slice some into strips for us to eat with ranch dressing as part of our dinner. I was daydreaming of these memories as I was putting my groceries away. Without realizing the sliced one and dipped it in some ranch while I brainstormed some kind of filling. I couldn’t just hollow out the cuke and pour ranch into it…although the child version of me would have encouraged it. All of sudden it all clicked. When we first moved into our house and were working on it.. I frequently made a ranch chicken salad to keep in the fridge…it was easy and delish.. perfect for a break from hard labor. Well four years later, and the salad still frequents our fridge in spurts. It’s one of those dishes I keep meaning to blog but never quite get there and vow to do it the next time around. It fit the ticket. This is an easy make because the chicken can be left over from a rotisserie chicken , or just boiled in salted water.

So…I proudly and finally bring you …
Ranch Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumbers
*adapted from Taste of Home Comfort Diet Cookbook

For dressing:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced fat Hellmanns Mayo
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon fat free ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon fat free sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper

-In a small-medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Set aside.

For Salad:
2 cups chicken, shredded or cubed
1/2 cup celery, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons sweet red pepper, diced
1 tablespoons spring green onions, chopped

– Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over the top and mix to combine.
– Instead of making a sandwhich hollow out a cucumber and enjoy that way.

I actually very much enjoyed my chicken salad this way. I found that cucumber gave it a very light refreshing feel. Of course that cucumber ranch combo gave the whole thing a very nostalgic feel. Next time you’re looking for a great springy or summery meal this one gets my vote!

Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie


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