A few years ago, when I first heard I have an intolerance to soy, I thought to myself, “Well, that’s no big deal; I hardly ever eat soy sauce.” But then I went shopping and it turns out that soy is in EVERYTHING! Okay, everything is kind of a stretch, but seriously it’s in about 80 percent of all processed foods. Start looking; you’ll be amazed.

Not only is soy in cookies, crackers, granola bars and more, soybean oil is also the number one ingredient in mayonnaise. I’m not much of a sandwich person, so not being able to have mayonnaise isn’t a huge deal until you want potato salad, artichoke dip, or chicken salad, and I LOVE chicken salad. For two years when I saw chicken salad on a menu, well, it just made me want to go out and burn some soybean fields. (Don’t worry; you won’t have to bail me out of jail. I know it would be wrong.)

However, after two years on a non-chicken salad diet, I finally found a recipe for an avocado chicken salad and I thought to myself, “I like avocadoes. I should try this.” Basically, the recipe substituted avocado and lemon (or possibly lime) for the mayonnaise. And while it was good, I decided to make it my own, complete with the addition of cashews and dill weed that were part of the mayonnaise-based chicken salad in my previous life.

The soybean fields are safe once again.

Avocado Chicken Salad

2 cups diced chicken (I prefer to grill mine first with a lemony marinade but it’s not critical – although it will taste a lot better.)

¼ cup diced onion (more if you love onions like I do)

½ cup diced celery

2 large ripe avocados

1½ teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

⅛  teaspoon pepper

⅛  teaspoon dried dill weed (more according to your taste preferences)

¼ – ½ cup salted cashews

In a small bowl, place diced chicken, onions, and celery. In a separate small bowl, place the flesh scooped out of the two avocadoes. Add lemon juice and mash together until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the salt, pepper, and dill weed. Blend the avocado mixture with the chicken, onions, and celery. Before serving, add the cashews and garnish with a few extra cashews and some dill weed. Makes 2 – 4 servings depending on the voraciousness of one’s appetite.

I have successfully stored this salad overnight without it getting that nasty avocado brown color but if you’re serving it for company I’d suggest making it within 3 – 4 hours of when you plan to serve it.

Feel free to adjust the ingredients to fit your taste buds. It’s not rocket science. If you decide to try it, let me know what you think.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”Julia Child