Chicken Salad with Celery and Grapes

  • Posted on: May 22, 2014

popcorn, chicken salad and cough syrup 2014-05-20 060We are going camping this weekend  for three nights.    I like to camp, but I don’t loooove to camp.

One weekend last month my husband was going out of town and we were talking about what the kids and I were going to do.  He said, Why don’t you take the kids camping?

I was horrified.  I looked at him with my eyebrows raised, mouth agape.

Camp.  Without you?   Why why why would I do that?  No no…. I have other things planned.  Or I will soon.  Like heading into San Fransisco for one.   Camp on my own, pshhhhh.

My bestie Jamie is like my superhero.   She’ll just pack up the car with her 4 kids and take them camping on her own like it’s no big thing.   To me, that would be a colossal accomplishment.

popcorn, chicken salad and cough syrup 2014-05-20 040I feel like when we are camping, I am more like one of the kids and Eric is taking care of all of us.  One time he looked at me like Hello, are you going to help me out here?   

When we are home, I happily and merrily handle most of the domestic duties.  That’s all good and fine but something happens to me when we are out in the woods.    I become a kid again.  Knowing this, I plan ahead.

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I make all of the food preparations in the comfort of my kitchen with running water and a dishwasher.   I  think ahead and prepare our meals so that early in the morning when our kids wake up starving and can quickly and easily  hand them a homemade muffin and fall back onto my pillow for another few minutes.   I plan ahead so when we are going on a hike or going to hang out at the beach, everything is ready to go.    I plan ahead so I can easily reheat dinner as I sip on a glass of wine and watch my kids run around in the dirt, as happy as kids should be.

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It takes me a little bit to get into the camping groove  but after about 24 hours of camping in the woods, I’m there.   Life becomes about watching a caterpillar climb up a tree with my kids and seeing the wonderment in their eyes.  It is beautiful.

This salad is quick, easy and transportable, as well as yummy!  It’s an easy dish to bring camping.

The burst of sweetness from the grapes is such a nice  balance to the celery and onions.

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It reminds me of  summer and since  Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us (wow how did that happen already!) I thought it most appropriate.  Wherever your weekend plans take you, this salad might just work.   I made an appetizer out of this salad by scooping some into endive leaves.

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You can buy a chicken and cook it or you can do as I did and pick up an organic rotisserie chicken.  Sometimes you just have to cut corners.  I did made my own Mayo though.   It’s not hard and I didn’t have any in the house.  So, it was sort of a necessity.     And I avoided highly processed oils used in many store bought mayonnaise , so you know, it was a win win.

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This salad will make a perfect picnic lunch on the beach this weekend.   We are heading to Harris Beach on the California/Oregon border to meet up with a dear old friend of mine and her family.   It’s the midway point from their home in Portland and our place in Santa Rosa

Here are some other items on our camping list:

  1. homemade muffins
  2. hard boiled eggs
    smoked salmon
  3. sauerkraut (the real fermented kind)
  4. cheese
  5. olives
  6. granola bars
  7. energy bars
  8. apples
  9. carrots
  10. red peppers
  11. hot dogs
  12. chips and salsa
  13. pre-homemade smokey pulled chicken (for tacos)
  14. Hard cider/wine/beer
  15. And of course, SMORES.

What do you like to bring camping?

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Chicken Salad with Celery and Grapes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 5 cups

Serving Size: 4-6 servings


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onions, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe below)
  • 1 cup organic red grapes, cut in half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • Homemade Mayo
  • 1 egg yolk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, onions and mayonnaise and mix well.

Add grapes and combine. Add salt and mustard seeds and a pinch of pepper and mix well.

For the Mayo,

1. Add egg yolk, lemon juice ground mustard seeds and vinegar and whisk together. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Whisk well for a couple minutes. Add salt to taste.





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