Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo" - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”

April 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Dinner, Healthy, Lunch, Poultry, Rainbow, Sandwiches/Wraps, Seafood, Vegetables | 116 Comments
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I wrote a long preface to this post, but was told to ditch it.  Too personal, too revealing, too much apologizing and explaining, they said.  So, I gave in and ditched it.  All that matters is that the end is finally here, so let’s celebrate with sandwiches, or wraps.  Did you just hear the dull, hollow thud after I said that?  Yeah, it’s there, an apropos response to sandwiches after 8 months away from blogging, not counting my last post and my brief appearance to pay tribute to my dear, late friend, Lis.

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo" Sloppy and blurry, but oh so good.

For my second post back, I wanted to make something spectacular, and I tried, and I failed…twice.  It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever put in my mouth. Then I felt sick again, so I gave up and made an easy chicken salad, which really isn’t much of a recipe, but it’s the best I can do for now.  Plus, I can sit and chop, so win-win.

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

I’ve been making this chicken (or tuna) salad since I was 12 and learned how to roast peppers.  I add roasted peppers to all of my mayo based salads because it makes them remarkably better – the sweet, roasty undertones, just magnificent. You get your crunch from the celery, so nothing is missing.

Loaded Chicken (or Tuna) Salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

Back in the day, I used to mix some of those ranch seasoning packets into the mayo before mixing it in with the chicken and veggies.  I thought I had discovered something brilliant, but people have been mixing ranch seasoning packets with mayo long before me.  They just add buttermilk and call it ranch dressing.  I decided to go as a fresh as possible, eliminating the salt lick packs they call ranch seasoning.  I also switched out most of the mayo for Greek yogurt, but, by all means, use all mayo or all yogurt..either way is delicious.

Loaded Chicken (or Tuna) Salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I like my sandwiches big, overstuffed and messy,  If the filling falls out while eating it, even better. However, this salad is so pretty, it would make delightful, dainty, crustless tea sandwiches too.  No need to pick up after me, I’ll get to it eventually.

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

If you want to take chicken or tuna salad to a realm above and beyond the norm, a realm that elicits “OMG” with eat bite, this is the way to do it.

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”

Makes a good amount of sandwiches, depending on how much salad you use per sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups shredded chicken (I use a roast chicken and a mix of white and dark meat) or 4 cans of white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 green onions, both the light and dark green parts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small carrot peeled and grated or shredded (sometimes I steam the carrot shreds, about 1 to 2 minutes, for more flavor)
  • 2 large stalks of celery, peeled (this is the best way to add it to salads, no strings), thick white end cut off, split vertically three or four times, finely diced, LIKE THIS
  • 1 very small red onion or one-quarter of a large red onion, diced LIKE THIS (or 1 large shallot, diced)
  • 1 to 3 avocados, depending on how many sandwiches, each half slightly mashed
  • Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch Mayo (recipe follows). the amount depending on how 'wet' you like your chicken salad
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, if needed.
  • Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo" (Double or add add another half of this recipe for more 'mayo')
  • 2/3 cup Greek Yogurt (Use all mayonnaise instead of yogurt, if desired)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (if using all mayonnaise, just 2)
  • 1/4 cup chopped. fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill weed
  • 1 garlic clove chopped and smashed into a paste with a pinch of kosher salt, LIKE THIS
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (more or less, taste as you drizzle it in and stir, or 2 teaspoons buttermilk powder*) You can omit all the buttermilk, if you like. It's great without it too, since yogurt is already tangy. If using all mayo, you need to use it.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • * You can usually find buttermilk powder in the baking or dried milk aisle in supermarkets. If not, you can order it online.

Instructions

    For the Salad
  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in as much of the Greek Yogurt ranch mayo as you desire.
  2. The Secret - Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I refrigerate it overnight) before serving to allow the flavors of the chicken salad and yogurt ranch to really blend or shall I say 'sing'? Because it really does sing! You'd be amazed at the difference it makes, not unlike beef stew eaten the day after it's cooked. Season it with extra salt and pepper after letting it chill, if need be.
  3. Serve as sandwiches, slightly mashing an avocado on top or spreading the avocado on one or both slices of bread (which I should have done for photos - neater) then layering boston or butter lettuce and tomato, if desired, or roll into whole wheat flour tortilla wraps or flatbread. Keep it low-carb and gluten-free by serving as is on a salad plate or spooned into a ripe avocado half.
  4. For The Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch
  5. Place Greek yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a paper towel) over a bowl. Cover the strainer and allow excess liquid to drain for about 1 to 2 hours. You'll be replacing the liquid with buttermilk to make it 'ranch'. (While it's draining, start roasting the peppers and prepping the rest of the vegetables for the salad).
  6. If you're using all mayonnaise, obviously you can skip the above step.
  7. In a medium bowl, stir together strained Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, dill, garlic paste,, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in buttermilk. Add more or less buttermilk for desired taste and consistency. I like it thick, like, well..mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap and refrigerate for several hours before adding it to salad, if you have the time. Even more flavor!
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Loaded Chicken (or Tuna) Salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"

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  1. I’m all chocked up and teary eyed after finally finishing the story! It brought back a lot of memories and a feeling of wistfulness for the excitement of young love and inevitable heartbreak in so many relationships. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

    • Aww, Heather *hugs* I’m so glad my story was able to elicit those feelings in you. I choked up myself at the end, then started from part one to relive it one more time :)

  2. I’m so happy you’ve finally gotten to finish the story. It was beautifully written. I absolutely loved it and the fact that you decided to share an important part of your life .

    • Thank you so much, Alyse..I’m so glad you loved it. xo

  3. This made me emotional in so many ways. It’s the end of a two year(!?) saga of reading this story, the emotional pain I felt FOR YOU reading about his betrayal, and the understanding ache of having a boyfriend move hundreds of miles away for work in a very short time frame. Even though I could tell the direction the story was going in from the last few parts, I still secretly wanted you two to end up together, but maybe that’s just the hopeless romantic side of me. Though, seeing how he ended up, I think you dodged a bullet. I imagined 7 people trying to live in one of the little run-down shacks you described and I actually cringed.

    I already want to hear your stories with baseball guy! Are you two still together?

    Also thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Digging up those memories must have been very bittersweet, but I know that tons of us loved tuning in. Can’t wait to read whatever else you come up with! :)

    • Katie, I was bummed I couldn’t give you all a fairytale ending because it would have been pretty cool. I even waxed on about it to others, like “I wish I could surprise them with marriage to him, kids and the white picket fence” replete with a big, shiny photo, because I knew that’s what many were hoping for. But, that’s life, and like I said, no regrets whatsoever. If I had to do it all over again..who knows? However, I think I dodged a bullet too..and LOL@ 7 people living in that shack. Let’s hope not!!

      As for me and Baseball Guy, if I gave it away, I wouldn’t be able to write about it with any cliffhangers lol You’ll know soon..I promise!

  4. Wow.. That was a great ending. I can’t lie, I was secretly yelling at you to stay behind that tree! I hope what passed after this was worthy of amazing memories as well. There is something nostalgic about that particular time in our lives, the music, the freedom, the friendships. Thanks for sharing with us. I may just start the whole thing over so I can go from start to finish. AND, I am adding roasted peppers to my chicken/tuna salad for sure. It looks colorful and delicious! And that bread….

  5. Bravo, Lis! You emptied the tank. That was very definition of bitter-sweet. Such amazing recall of nuance and emotion (I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse, but what a soulful journey you took us on.) Yanked(!) from the deepest nooks and crannies of your soul. Well…They just don’t write ‘em like that anymore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f07cXFlSnQ8

    • Thank you, my dear friend :)

  6. The end was exactly as wonderful and tear jerking as I imagined it to be, thank you for sharing this story with us.

    Hugs
    Uru

  7. You had us all hanging from your fingertips….
    Thanks for sharing this great first love story. I was together with my ex for 7 years too, and he made my knees jelly and he could kiss. I wish I could remember all those years like you did yours.

    I hope you will be ok, I am sending good health vibes your way. It sounds like something that is not getting better, hugs to you.

    That chicken salad looks so delicious and healthy with all those veggies, I will have to try it.

  8. oh my goodness girl, you rock-
    beautiful ending to a beautiful story of beautiful memories..
    thank you for sharing all of that and in such a painterly way–both through your writing and your cooking and photography. they ALL contribute to each other beautifully and i fully enjoyed every minute of every part.

    also, i am deeply grateful to you for giving me a substitute recipe for..MAYO..!! (because i don’t like store mayo with all the fake stuff, and sometimes i just don’t feel like making an aioli by hand; plus, using yoghurt is WAY lower in calories–sometimes a plus). i have tried different made up concoctions for years, with yoghurt, but have never been successful! it always tasted too sour and not creamy enough. so really, thank you so much for this awesome recipe.
    and, i LOVE LOVE LOVE these kinds of fresh sandwiches–just a beautiful sandwich, esp with all that lovely avocado.
    you know, this sandwich was the perfect recipe to end your story with: the simplicity and homeyness of the (old) Jersey Shore, combined with a *fresh* start for your life at that time. Bravo girl! believe in yourself…
    :))
    i look forward to your next posts.

    • I always look forward to your comments, johanna. You will LOVE the yogurt “mayo”, I just know it! I tried it with the Wallaby non-fat yogurt (love them because, like you told me, they’re good to their cows) and it was just as amazing..couldn’t tell the difference between full-fat and non-fat. That said, I like your take on ending it with a down-home comfort sandwich because it’s Jersey Shore ‘homey’. I feel better about it now xo :)

  9. “So I was to become a traveling baseball woman for years to come, but that’s another story.” Ahhhhh….

    Wow, what a beautiful ending, closing this reliving of who you were and what you almost became and I’m glad you did that. With us. I never really lived a relationship like that, so intense, so long, such a rollercoaster of days and emotions. And your telling of yours just swept me away and left me breathless.

    Don’t stop writing, especially the part about how you came to cooking and baking. xoxoxo

    And I love a good chicken salad sandwich and yours looks extraordinary, especially the yogurt ranch mayo which I have to try. Perfect sandwich for a perfect story – and I do think this sandwich is the best for comforting…

    Love you xo

  10. I loved that story and the ending! Wonderful. An intense relationship…

    This sandwich looks amazing and ever so mouthwatering!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  11. What a story with the beautiful ending, Lisa. The sandwiches look fanfreakingtastic, just like the way you tell the story :-) Thanks for sharing!

  12. You finished this perfectly…it was worth the wait. I’ll be waiting for more stories about food and life from you…I hope you’ll continue to share your gift of writing with us all. Sending you wishes for good health, good eating and happiness. xo

  13. Beautiful story! I hope you are able to continue writing!

    • Thank you, Kelster, I hope so too!

  14. Bravo Lisa. That was a beautiful wrap up. I grew up on the beach in LI and a lot of your story resonated with me. Fantastic writing. Just loved it. Oh and your chicken salad recipe is fantastic.

  15. Wow, just wow. You ended it perfectly. I’m always afraid that an endings will disappoint, but this one was perfect. Even though I want more, I feel satiated. Lisa, thank you so much for this story, and if you feel better, can you write more? Would love to read about you and baseball guy!

    • Thank you, Michelle. I’m thinking about it :)

  16. I can only echo all the comments already posted…it is a beautifully written “first love” story that’s simply captivating! Thank you for sharing.

    • It was a pleasure, Amy, and thank you for reading! xo

  17. A huge bravo from us office people. The last one of us just finished it and some of us even teared up because you so perfectly conveyed the pain we’ve all experienced at one time or another in relationships. so happy you found someone amazing. Are you still with him? We’re all dying to know, including the sensitive guy! Like I said the last time I commented, please write more…we’re begging you! We won’t mind if we have to wait between parts!!! :)

    • Wow, thank you and your coworkers, Deborah, I’m so flattered and I promise I will do my best! xo

  18. This.” callously dislodging the feeding tube he’d placed there 7 years ago” Made me cry. I was also hoping you’d end up together..but after the “it’s no one” crap, I was glad you didn’t. Thank you for such a wonderful memory shared,

    • That one came to me sudden;y right in the middle of typing it, like some weird force just filled in the blank. I couldn’t imagine a better way to describe what it felt like in that moment. It made me cry typing it, like it just happened yesterday. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. xo

  19. Wow you really went to another level with your writing. As others have said your writing is beautiful and clear. I truly hope you use your gift and decide to keep writing. Well done! :)

    • Thank you, Dave -I’m incredibly flattered..and humbled.

  20. I’m never ever making chicken salad without roasted peppers again. This was the best I’ve ever had…thank you!

    • You’re so welcome! It makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? Glad you hopped on the roasted pepper boat!

  21. I’m sorry, but he didn’t just want a wife..he wanted a submissive baby making machine!!! You were better off, honey :) Loved the story and your chicken salad looks fabulous and is on my “to do” list this weekend :)

    • Ha ha, Janet, that made my day. Thank you and hope you enjoy the chicken salad!

  22. What a tear jerking ending. I was crying and drooling as I would see a photo of that messy killer sandwich and then the wraps. I am wreck, I am off to the kitchen to make myself one of these phenomenal sandwiches.

  23. Thank for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading every installation to it.

    • You’re so welcome, Breabella! xo

  24. I’m so sad it’s over :( but I’m going to read it again from part one because it’s just so amazing, your recollections enthralling, always keeping me on the edge of my seat, making me laugh sometimes, making me cry sometimes..and making me remember my first love, although it wasn’t nearly as intense as yours and only lasted a month!! But i was still a great first love. Thank you so much for this. It was very brave of you to share such deep feelings to strangers, but very generous at the same time. It’s not often you find nonfiction love stories that keep you completely captivated, and yours did that and then some! Alright, back to part one nd all the way through again!!! :)

    • Thank you so much, Jenna. I’m glad my story brought out those feelings in you. Enjoy your second ride through! There were little tidbits I remembered and added into the previous parts the past 8 months, so there’s a few more little surprises!

  25. You so rock. I just finished reading and it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a story this much. Would love to read more from you! I was really taken with the passage from childhood to adulthood in your writing, light and fluffy to somewhat sad and conflicted. It would be a travesty if you didn’t write a book. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • I’m so thrilled you enjoyed reading it, Karen. It was quite a trip writing it, one that I’m glad I now have recorded, along with others I haven’t posted. As for a book, no, because I’m not a writer, and wouldn’t want to insult those who are! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m just a memory rambler, but I’m very flattered. :)

  26. Thank you for the beautiful story, I loved every bit of it, and a lot of the comments above share my feelings too…. Looking forward to the new stories and amazing recipes to come!!!

    • Thank you so much, Linda and thank you for reading and enjoying it! xoxo

  27. Outstanding salad and sandwich! The dressing is terrific and love that the sandwich is stacked with avocado. Gotta come back and finish the story…can’t believe it’s “the end”!

  28. I could totally devour a big and messy sandwich. this recipe looks awesome and love the roasted bell peppers for sure. Makes a huge difference. So glad you finally finished this amazing story. I think you took us all for an emotional ride with our first loves. You had a great experience sprinkled with a few tough ones. Sounds cliché but I do think you are better of not being with him. 5 kids, OMG!

  29. Hi!!!!! I think this is a pretty spectacular recipe…..just sayin’ :-) Definitely pinning, because I need to make soon! Hope you are doing well! I am glad I happened upon you on Healthy Aperture! Hugs, Terra

  30. Holy Moly, this is THE BEST chicken salad! I added a roasted jalapeno along with the bell peppers. My kids (a teen and a preteen) never want it any other way again! Thank yo so much for this recipe!

  31. My goodness. I saw your sandwich via foodgwaker and came to check it out and was really excited to read your post. Nice to meet you.

    • Nice to meet you too, Bintu! I hope you try and enjoy the chicken salad :)

  32. Oh my goodness, this ending is so bittersweet for many reasons. I’m sad to have this story come to an end. I’ve truly loved reading every word of it. It’s bittersweet because I have been able to relate to all those intense first love feelings as well as the feels of being betrayed by someone you truly love. Thank you so much for pouring yourself out on “paper” and sharing this with us. It was captivating! So, will we be hearing all about your time as a traveling baseball woman? ;)

  33. If you are not a writer, then color me chartreuse. What I just read is not only writing, but beautiful, open and honest writing at that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    • Thanks, Karen..that’s sweet. xo

  34. I’m so happy I randomly stumbled across your blog. Your way with words is amazing. You sucked me in before I even understood what I was reading—I just knew it wasn’t a recipe! Thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts of a time that I think most people can relate to. It was a very moving and emotional experience for me. You’ve inspired me to write more! Thank you.

    • Thank you, Noesi. I’m so glad my story inspired you to start writing again and so glad it moved you and brought you back in such ways. If you write something and put it online, could you link me to it here or via email? I would love to read it! :)

  35. Just had to leave you a note to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your Dreamboat saga.

    I stumbled across your story through a Pinterest post and when I started reading it, I was completely absorbed. I was actually shopping and had to sit down and read another chapter while I was in the store! Then I told myself to get a grip, went home, and finished reading.

    It was absolutely gripping and some of it totally resonated with me. I have to say that I don’t think he found his ‘soul mate.’ I think you and he were soul mates but unfortunately wanted different things in life. I think he settled for her and I would bet the mint that he often thinks of you with regret. Not that he was blameless – I think you would have split up anyway even if he had have been faithful. You were both growing up and finding what you both really wanted. So does the story continue? What happened with baseball guy??

    Thanks for writing such a great story. I completely enjoyed reading it and it brought back some if my youth as well.

    • Your comment totally made my day, Debra. To stop mid-shop to read is a compliment of the highest form. I can’t say 100% we would have split up if he hadn’t been unfaithful, because I was pretty crazy about him, albeit the long-term familiarity ‘rut’ stage of the relationship I thought I had hit (apparently not). I’m so glad you enjoyed my story. Baseball guy comes later. xoxo

  36. Have you ever tried this using fresh crab meat? Wondering how that would be. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • No, Tess, but I LOVE crab meat salad. There is no doubt in my mind that it would be amazing using it. Thanks for putting the thought in my head! Going to make it once I get my hands on some good jumbo lump :)

  37. You really need to get this story up on a story sharing site like Wattpad or Booksie.com, because people are coming here looking for recipes not reading and you’ll have a vast audience, looking for exactly what you’ve written, at either of those two sites, I only stumbled upon it when I accidentally scrolled too far past your peach cobbler recipe. Once I started this story, I couldn’t stop and ended up reading well into the morning! I finally read the end just now, and it was perfect. If you put this story up on one of the sites, you’ll have loads of readers, and they will love it as much as I did. Hoping on seeing more from you, Lisa!

    • Thank you, Emily, but I’m just going to keep it here and leave it at that, since it was never meant for anything other than this blog. I wrote it as a therapeutic portal for myself and was pleased that some enjoyed it. :)

  38. At long last – an end to the Dreamboat saga. Happy endings are for Disney movies, but in a way it is a happy ending – as you said, “you dodged a bullet”, but really, his wanting kids and you not being ready should be a deal breaker if you’re both to be happy. Now I see where the line drives come in – but I don’t see it in your blog name any more. Hmmm. Can’t wait for the next story, Lisa! Take care and messy chicken salad sandwiches are awesome!!

  39. So I made this last night and wrapped it up like you said to enhance the flavor. When I got home three hours ago, I pulled off the plastic wrap and oh my gah, it smelled so good!!. We ate the whole bowl, just two of us, with forks. This is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had in my life! Thank you so much, Lisa! Just subscribed to your blog! Looking forward to more recipes of yours!

  40. I’m so glad I found your blog because I just finished your Bad Boy story and what a trip! I laughed, I cried, I nodded in agreement and shook my head in disagreement. I have not had this experience with a story in such a long time and I want to hug you for bringing back so many long lost memories for me. I had forgotten what that first love moment feels like, but I felt it again for the first time in twenty years, thanks to you. I also forgot the pain of love lost, and although not pleasant, I felt it again too, bringing me to tears, but in such a bittersweet, satisfying, thorough way (I love a good cry!). I can’t thank you enough for sharing such a private, REAL and personal moment in your life, and I’m hoping we get more amazing stories from you! I’m now a fan for life!

    • Thank you, Candace. In moments where I feel a little embarrassed by all the personal stuff I put out there, and suddenly want to take it down, comments like yours make me remember why I kept going and why I should keep it up a little longer. I’m so glad my memory was able to bring you back xo.

  41. WOW! I clicked on this for a recipe and got the bonus of an amazing story! I don’t know who you are but your story touched my heart. Thank you.

    • Hi, Elizabath :) Well, now you sort of know who I am! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it and it touches my heart to know it touched yours. I’m choking up here… lol

  42. when the pain of love surrounds you
    and the world may be unkind
    i’ll put my loving arms around you
    take you far from this place and time

    • I think I know who you are. ;D

  43. This chicken salad was outstanding! I omitted the red onion because I hate red onion, but otherwise, perfect! And the Greek yogurt mayo, delicious! It’s my new “signature” dressing from now on ;). BUT BUT BUT, as I was reading through the directions before I made it, I came upon your story and now I’m on part 10 and chugging along ravenously! You can really tell a story, and I’m with you every step of the way because I had a similar first love, and it’s bringing back so many memories for me, IF you substitute Tampa, Fla for the Jersey Shore and green eyes for blue! I’m so looking forward to a lot of reading this weekend! Thank you so much for sharing your memories, and the wonderful chicken salad! :)

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Leslie! Glad you loved the chicken salad and dressing AND really glad my story has taken you back to your green-eyed first love. First loves occupy a part of our hearts forever, so it’s always nice to reach in and grab it every so often. :)

  44. Excelente. Felicitaciones. Cariños. Peky (Mendoza-Argentina).

    • Gracias, Rosa :) Me alegro de que te guste! (thanks to Babelfish) lol

  45. This chicken salad was a huge hit at a Mother’s Day picnic, Sunday. Thanks so much!!

    • Glad to hear that, Kristen! You’re Welcome! :)

  46. I’m so glad you felt up to writing the rest (I just caught up on the last 2 posts)!! I have stayed up a few late nights to read these. Thank you for sharing something so personal and life-changing with us. You really pull a person in to the story and leave the reader wanting more. Now, as a HUGE Braves fan, when can we expect THAT story?! And you better believe I’ve been trying to google this guy to figure out who it is. :D I’ve been a fan since I was in middle school (and this number freaks me out) so it’s been around 23 years of me cheering them on.

  47. Ha ha, I would be googling like crazy too, especially if it was a Yankee player (Yankee fan since I could say ‘Bucky’ when someone pulled the bottle from my mouth). It will come in time, although I’m still trying to figure out how without embarrassing anyone or revealing too much. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, and it still blows my mind that some did. With that said, I think we need another Yanks-Braves WS, don’t you? ;)

    • I’ll take my Braves against anyone in the WS at this point but if they were to battle the Yankees again I’d like a better result this time. ;)

  48. Well, the Yankees are old and the injuries are piling up again, so if I were to bet, I think I’d take the Braves too, and that’s just making it to the WS! I’ll keep the 1996 result, obviously, the start of that amazing dynasty. :)

  49. I officially have no life–haha! My husband is now helping me google who it is. :D We’re not crazy stalkers. Promise!! :)

    • Like I said, I would be doing the same lol If you find out, with so little to go on, you will officially blow my mind.

  50. I found your story through foodgawker and it pulled me in completely, so much, that I forgot about the recipe! I really hope you write more because you have such a knack for it and your words and memories are so enthralling! I would love to hear more about the next chapter of your life..the baseball one! I just subscribed so I won’t miss it if you decide to write about it (pretty please?)!

    • That’s so sweet, Kayla, thank you :)

  51. Wow, that was a great story! I started checking out one of your recipes through Pinterest and stumbled onto your bad boy story. Hours and hours later I’m done reading, and I loved everything you wrote! I too had a bad boy first love, and related to many of your experiences and feelings. My bad boy first love now has 4 kids (with two different women) and ultimately I too am happy for him and I hope he is happy with the life he has. And I’m thankful that I don’t have that life with him. We had some great times together but I wouldn’t trade my family and the life I have now for anything. Thanks for sharing such a touching story.

  52. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lynne, and also glad you have no regrets and wouldn’t trade what you have now for anything. You see, I mostly think that way, but sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have taken a wide right instead of a sharp left ;)

  53. I just have to say, I found this blog while looking up chicken salad sammies on Pinterest, and ended up getting sucked into your final installment of the ‘Dreamboat’ story haha! I forgot the reason I originally ended up on this page, because I just had to know the rest of the story, even though I knew how it would end. (Bummer!) I loved it, and couldn’t stop reading it. I hope to hear more about baseball guy and life after Dreamboat as well! :) And by the way, the chicken salad looks and sounds AHmazing!!

    • Hi, Chelsie! For a short period of time as a kid, I used to read the end of a book first because I was convinced (and terrified) that a nuclear missile would hit before I finished it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I’ll do my best concerning what comes next. Thank you for your compliment about my chicken salad – I hope you try it!

  54. Thank you so much for this chicken salad recipe! I didn’t strain the yogurt bc I didn’t want to use buttermilk, but it was still unbelievably phenomenal and “ranchy”. Like you said, yogurt is tangy on its own and doesn’t really need it. I also started reading your story! I just finished part two and my heart is still thumpin’ from the first kiss! I remember that feeling so well, and the way you put it into words was perfect! Back to reading!

    • Wow, how did I miss this? So sorry for the delayed response, Cara. I’m thrilled that you had success with the chicken salad and glad you were enjoying the story as of June 11th! I’m assuming you finished by now :).

  55. I just wanted to thank you for this amazing memory you shared with us. I was in the hospital recovering from ankle surgery last week, and your story had me so hooked, that I kept forgetting I was in the hospital! One question and a silly question at that since I’m a car freak and love driving stick. Why didn’t you drive his car when his brother’s friends were drunk since you learned stick not too long before?
    I know, I’m weird, but just curious LOL. Like others have asked, are we getting a next installment soon? I do love your blog and would love to see a new recipe too!

    • I’m so sorry you had to have ankle surgery, Elena, but it sounds like you’re mending well! What did you do to it that required surgery? That said, not a silly question at all, and in fact, I’ve been asked that in an email! The stick had no cover, it was just sharp metal and it hurt my hand, plus it was hard to change gears, sort of like trying to push an anvil on the clutch and stick- old car problems! He would just push it effortlessly with his palm to change gears, and since his hand was calloused from construction work, he barely felt a thing. No idea why he never bothered to get a cover!
      ————–
      I’m really glad my story helped make your hospital stay a little better. As for my next post, I’m dealing with some serious issues right now, so I can’t say when, but I do have some delicious treats ready to go when things are better. :)

  56. Well that makes sense! That metal would definately hurt! I fractured my ankle tripping down some rocks while hiking two weeks ago. It was bimalleolar fracture, meaning both the fibula and tibula were broken. The worst is that I can’t put weight on it for 6 weeks! This is why I was hoping for another post from you soon, especially one with a story! I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with serious issues. I hope it gets better soon!!

    • Wow, that’s a killer break, but so glad it’s taken care of and healing. I know all about the non-weight bearing, for weeks, after having knee surgery back in ’08. I chose to stay at the rehab center so I could zip around in a wheelchair. While the knee healed, the arms looked great! lol Hope it goes quick for you!

  57. We gorged on this chicken salad Friday. I made one version with all yogurt and one version with all mayo. They were both delicious, and roasted peppers really do make a huge difference! Thanks for the recipe!

    • You’re so welcome, Pam! Glad you enjoyed it!

  58. Hi, long time lurker slash reader here. I know you’re really, really sick, but I’m hoping you get well soon because I miss your posts. Somehow, they always made my days a little better..no matter what you wrote about. Just wanted to say that. :)

    • What you said is one of two reasons I will try to continue. Just the fact that I made your day a little better, makes me so happy. I’m all sniffly now. Thank you for that…so so much. xoxo

  59. Wow! Really wow! I just finished reading your story….after the long wait. I am welling up and lumping up. Your writing has the ability to do that. So sorry for what you went through, although at some point it was clear you were headed in that direction. Glad you re-claimed yourself, and have been able to move on, although I am sure there will always be a certain spot in your heart, healed, but hardened over with scar tissue.

    Love your website, recipes, stories….I will keep looking out for more of your gems. Wishing you all the best and a very bright future.

    • Thank you, Yael. I’m all emotional from Allie’s comment,…and now your comment adds to those emotions..but, both in a good way. I think we all have varying amounts of romantic scar tissue in our hearts (not including those who struck gold on the first shot!), but it’s what you do with it that counts. You can let it continue to calcify, or soften it by remembering the good times and what you learned from the bad. Like I said, I’m richer for it. By the way, I got your email, and will respond some time tonight or tomorrow :).

  60. Holy Moly! I just spent all day…from 10 am until now, w/small breaks, reading your story! I had so much to do today but I couldn’t stop so I got nothing done! Is that a bad thing? Maybe, but it was worth every unproductive moment! I must admit, I too was bummed that it didn’t work out.. and even though it was already going in that direction several parts prior, a tiny part of me was hoping it would turn around and the two of you would be happily ever after. In the end, I think it was probably best for you because I guarantee you wouldn’t have been happy in the long run, 5 kids or not.I made the opposite choice with my first love, and I’m now a single Mama to two. I don’t regret my babies one bit, but I missed out on so much of my youth and many opportunities that arose at the time. Thank you so much for sharing this, and please get healthy soon so we can all enjoy more of your writing!

    • Thank you, Cindy! I’m so flattered that it led to you shirking your to-do list lol Been there far too many times! That said, I’m sorry your first love didn’t last forever, but like you said, you got two amazing children out of it, so that’s what counts the most :) Health wise, I’m trying…hoping.

  61. I just finished reading all the parts of your story, staying up until 2 to do so. Your writing is wonderful and your story actually helped me to finally make a very difficult decision in my life currently. I know our stories are different, but what you had to say really made me see how things in my life are and give myself a reality check. Your story definitely hit close to home and touched my heart and I just want to say thank you for that.
    I really hope you are doing all right since you mentioned that you are having serious problems. I will send loving thoughts your way.

    • Thank you, Cee. I said most everything in reply to your email, but I just wanted to reply here too. Thank you for your loving thoughts..I need a lot of those right now. xoxo

  62. Dear Lisa, I enjoyed your story. I been there myself. After 10 years with Sweetums, his kisses are still the same. I hope you feel better and get back to telling tales.

    Hugs to you and yours
    Emma Mae

    • That’s beautiful, Emma Mae, you’re a lucky gal! So glad you enjoyed the story, and here’s to another 10 years of amazing kisses! (clink) :) Thank you for your sweet sentiments.

  63. How did I miss the final chapter????! But at least I get this amazing chicken salad sandwich :) Like you, I prefer not to use straight mayo, but I’ve never tried a splash of buttermilk. Great tip! Hope you’re doing OK, my friend. I miss your posts! xo

  64. Thank you, sweet LIzzy xoxo. It doesn’t really need the buttermilk if you use just yogurt, but it does add a different kind of tang. As for the story..I took it down because some were complaining about it getting in the way of printing the recipes. I still haven’t decided where I’m going to put it yet.

  65. This is an absolutely phenomenal chicken salad. I got lazy and didn’t do buttermilk, but I used about 3:1 ratio yogurt/mayo so you were right, I didn’t absolutely need the tang. Roasting the peppers was an AWESOME idea. I tripled the veggies, and go so excited about the peppers that I did a red, yellow, orange, AND a poblano to add a little kick! I will be making this again and again and recommending to everyone I know. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hiya Milette! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it so much! Roasted peppers (love that you added three colors and increased the veggies!) really do take it to another level, and like I mentioned in the post, I add them to all of my cold mayo based salads, from pasta to potato salad. That said, a reader commented above that she added a roasted jalapeno to hers, which I thought was a great idea for heat lovers..so a poblano would be a perfect kick for those who like just a touch of heat (unless it was a red poblano!), not to mention that slightly smokey, sweet flavor it imparts! Now I have two more ways to try it! Thank you so much for telling me how it turned out for you and how much you liked it! I hope those you recommend it to enjoy it just as much as you did! xo

  66. Oh yummy! I cannot wait to try this! My husband and I are traveling to the mountains this weekend and I will be making this to snack on! Thank you for this recipe!!

    • You’re so welcome, Jill! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do :)

  67. […] Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”…RECIPE […]

  68. Lisa, I’m so sorry things are rough health wise and your worry about your Mom, but a little birdie just told me the good news and congratulations! I’m so thrilled for you! I gotta say, it’s about time!!!!! Luv ya!

  69. Who is the little birdie, Deni? lol

  70. Hi Lisa :)

    here’s to hoping you’re still experimentally cooking and still creating-even if you don’t feel like posting.

    your recipes are my go-to’s for any meal I need to cook for more than just health–especially if I need to have a ”wow-factor”!

    I miss your posts and hope you are well–in all ways.

    • Aww, thank you so much, Johanna. I miss posting (and your amazing comments!), but it’s out of my hands at the moment due to my health and other stuff, which I’ll shoot you an email about it within the next week. xo


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