Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad + Jump Rope Workout

lightened chicken salad

I love chicken salad. Cool, creamy and packed with lean protein, chicken salad is a go-to meal on my family’s overscheduled evenings. With multiple obligations that have us crisscrossing each other’s paths, I make dinner less stressful and more healthful (avoiding fast food) by whipping up a big batch earlier in the day, plate it up on lettuce and leave waiting in the fridge for self-serve meals as people arrive home.

Unlike deli chicken salads, my recipe for Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is much friendlier on your figure. No-fat Greek yogurt replaces most of the mayonnaise used in traditional chicken salad; just a bit of reduced-fat mayo is added in for the familiar flavor. Dried cranberries add a hint of natural sweetness and toasted pecans give a satisfying crunch!  Serve on lettuce (my favorite way) or sandwich between bread, dollop atop crackers or roll up in a wrap.

Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

  • 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced (including tops)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-tat mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight before serving. This gives the flavors time to mingle.
  3. Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce.

Serves 6.


Jump rope workout

Now that you’re fueled up with a healthy salad topped with Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, you’ll have plenty of energy later in the day to knock out my “Just Jump & Plank” WOD I created for Core Power. All you need is a bit of space and a jump rope and you’ll be getting a great cardio workout along with some core-strengthening action. Have fun!



My Hectic yet Healthy Life {Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Recipe } #Greenling

Once again, actually make that twice again, Greenling has saved dinner this week and kept me from hauling the kids through the drive through.  Oodles of work obligations in addition to all of our sports and extra-curricular schedules have kept us busier than a cat in a bag with two dogs. Or, as a friend likes to put it, keeping up with the Fishers is like trying to take only a sip of water out of a fire hose.  I guess we’re an all-over-the-place, in-your-face, deluge of doers, but I’ll take this super-charged, super-eventful season of my life over being bored any day.

I made Chicken Cacciatore in 5 minutes -- kinda, sorta!

I made Chicken Cacciatore in 5 minutes — kinda, sorta!

But all this activity makes getting dinner prepared more difficult. It requires advance planning and stopping by the store, which sometimes – to be honest – is not how I want to spend my few free minutes of the day. Enter, an organic and locally-sourced produce and grocery service that offers free delivery right to your doorstep (in coolers so you don’t even have to be home).  I love the idea of feeding my family foods grown by mom and pop farms right here in the Central Texas area – and saving the time, hassle and gas money of going to the market.

jennifer fisher - - local box

Local Box from changes every week depending on what’s in season at nearby organic farms.

I’ve ordered their local box of organic produce and it was fabulous – delivered right to my door step and with a card of recipe ideas (thank goodness, because I had no idea what to do with turnips).  Knowing how busy we were this week, I picked a family-sized meal from their wide selection of recipe kits.  They have a nice assortment of healthy, family-friendly options including Beef Tacos, Slow Cooker Lasagna and Sesame Chicken.  While Asian Lettuce Wraps and the Kale Portobello Stuffed Mushrooms have been tried-and-true winners, I decided to go for something new and settled on Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore featuring cremini mushrooms, squash, tomato and peppers and fresh, locally-made linguine pasta.

My recipe kit from included already-prepped ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore!

My recipe kit from included already-prepped ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore!

Literally, it took five minutes for me to take the lids off these pre-prepped vegetables, spices and sauce and get it going in the crock pot. Soon after, I left for a trip to the gym, school pick-ups, dentist appointments and football practice. The kids were starving by the time we walked in the door, we could smell the yumminess and all I had left to do was boil the fresh pasta noodles that were included with the recipe kit.

Chicken Cacciatore cooking for four hours in crockpot while I'm out having fun!

Chicken Cacciatore cooking for four hours in crockpot while I’m out having fun!

I would have paired the Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with the large grab-and-go Kale Waldorf Salad I ordered, but oops – we ate that two nights ago when we unexpectedly scored tickets to a college football game and had to come up with dinner in a snap. Instead of serving the salad as a side dish, I added some feta cheese crumbles, a little more lettuce to stretch it, and some pre-grilled chicken I had in the freezer.  Literally, it was a meal made in 3 minutes!

grab and go greenling kale waldorf collage

Are you ready to fire up your slow cooker and make meals while you’re out doing things that are much more fun  – like running, CrossFitting and watching your kids play football or toot a trombone?  Check out and order a recipe kit – they have locations in all the big Texas cities. If you’re not from ’round these parts, so sorry. But, I’ve rattled off my interpretation of the recipe below – it’s still easy to make, there’s just a lot more chopping!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb organic chicken breast
  • 4 cups squash (zucchini, summer or a mix), cut in ½” chunks
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 12 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more if you like spicy)
  • 12 oz fresh pasta of choice

Place onion in the bottom of a large (6 quart) slow cooker; lay chicken on top of onion and then toss in squash and mushrooms.

In a mixing bowl, add chicken stock. Add in tomato paste, bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and stir until blended. Pour tomato mixture over chicken and vegetables in slow cooker.

Set the slow cooker to high and cook 3-4 hours until chicken pulls apart easily with a fork.

Before serving, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add pasta and cook to manufacturer’s directions.

Drain pasta and serve chicken cacciatore over pasta.

Serves 6.

Never too Hot for Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup!

It was almost cold today; the backdoor thermometer decreed it to be 93 degrees!  I guess weather is all relative, but I was sure thankful for a break from the 100+ degree streak Austin has been on forever.  The cloud cover on my mid-morning run kept me from breaking much of a sweat and while it did get toasty later in the afternoon, the lower angle of the sun cast an amber glow and longer shadows that could only mean one thing — autumn will be here someday and hopefully someday soon!

jennifer fisher hatch green chile chicken enchilada soup

All this wishful thinking about changing seasons turned my mind to food.  Soup. Wouldn’t soup be great for dinner?  Regardless of the fact that cold weather is still month(s) away, I caved to my cravings and made one of my “most favoritest” soups of all time – Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup.  Although I was super excited about making the soup, the actual process was bittersweet. I was reminded that Hatch green chile season, which runs from late July through early September, has pretty much come to an end.  I did have an apocalyptic-like stash (75 pounds) of these prized peppers in my freezer, but it’s been dwindling by the day.

As a past Hatch Green Chile Cook-Off Winner at Central Market’s #HATCHFEST, I’ve made some very unusual recipes for the contest including Hatch Green Chile and Chicken Cheesecake and Hatch Green Chile Banana Muffins.  My Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup isn’t quite as crazy as these concoctions, but my husband claims it is still off-the-hook delicious. It’s one of his favorites and mine too – it’s super simple to make, can be prepared ahead of time for those busy nights, and stays tasty when served as leftovers – in fact, it might be even better the next day (so make a double batch)!

This is the first time that I’ve ever written the recipe down, so if the soup seems too thick just add more chicken stock, if it seems too thin, add more crushed tortilla chips. Also, I usually use chicken that I have grilled earlier in the week, but you can cook yours however you like. And, if you don’t eat meat, just swap out the stock for vegetable stock and omit the chicken. Enjoy!

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup diced Hatch green chiles (that have been roasted, seeded & peeled)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup pre-cooked diced chicken breast
  • 8 ounces light sour cream
  • Garnish: additional tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions

Serves 6.

In a large covered pot, add chicken stock, tomatoes (with all the juice), green chiles, onion, cumin, pepper and tortilla chips. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until heated through. Remove pot from heat and stir in sour cream until thoroughly incorporated.

To serve, top with crushed chips, cheese and green onions.

anolon pot

Also wanted to give a shout out to my new Anolon 4qt Covered Casserole from the Nouvelle Copper  line. Features include a double full-cap copper base that distributes heat very evenly, anodized construction that is twice as hard as stainless steel, non-stick interior and stainless steel handles. Two other thumbs up: This pot can go straight from the stove top to the oven (very convenient) and has a European-inspired design (very cool).


If you love Hatch Green Chiles as much as I do, you’ll want to check out some of my other Hatch recipes:

jennifer fisher - - hatch cheesecake

Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Cheesecake with Avocado Drizzle

Hot  Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers with Calabaza Squash “Buns”

Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zuchinni

Hatch Green Chile Guacamole