"Hold the mayonnaise” is a phrase folks with high cholesterol know well, but if you love a good old-fashioned chicken salad with more than a generous dollop, it can be hard to reform. Those of us who cook and prepare food daily for heart-healthy living approach this hold-the-mayo issue as a "cease or decease” order. This challenge at our house meant some retraining of our tastes to enjoy other options for salad dressings and sandwich spreads. You don’t have complete control when dining away from home, but "hold the mayo” can become a necessary automatic response if your doctor says you must. My husband enjoyed his mother’s fabulous chicken salad made strictly by the recipe of Neiman-Marcus cooking and dining maven Helen Corbit. My mother-in-law even sent me to a Helen Corbit cooking class in Houston to make sure I mastered her techniques. Mayonnaise was key to potato salad, chicken salad and tuna salad. Steering my husband away from these lifelong favorites was not easy, but it has become possible. I must say I have nothing against mayonnaise. I was a mayonnaise fan after being shown by a childhood friend how to make a mayonnaise sandwich: Spread the stuff nice and thick on white bread, fold over and chow down. It was best made with bread so fresh it stuck to the roof of your mouth and behind your front teeth if you had them. Mayonnaise was and is good stuff. Many of us just have to find other options now. Mustard, of course, becomes a player, but it doesn’t exactly fit with a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Of course, the BLT is out anyway. All that high-fat, high-sodium stuff is supposed to be off-limits, and that can be discouraging to the person who cooks and especially the one who is forced to change the way he has been eating. It’s easy to use low-fat mayonnaise in smaller amounts, but here are more ideas to make the change: →Potato salad. Use a couple of tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise per half-cup of thick, Greek-style yogurt. (Use plain yogurt, not the vanilla variety.) Add a little garlic powder or chopped fresh dill to brighten the flavor. Thin it with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. If a recipe calls for a cup of mayonnaise, try half as much of this yogurt-infused version first. →Tuna salad. Add finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil with some mustard or only a teaspoon or two of low-fat mayonnaise to bring the tuna together with some pickle relish, minced onion and celery. This also works as a spread. →Sandwich spread. Try a little mashed avocado with a few drops of lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. →Chicken salad. Use a different approach for my Hold the Mayo Chicken Salad, thinly slicing leftover cooked chicken breast over a bed of lettuce with sliced apple, celery, oranges, fresh strawberries, blueberries or grapes and pecans or walnuts. Dress the combination with a simple honey-lime vinaigrette such as my Citrus Honey Dressing (see below). You can use any cold chicken: fried, smoked, grilled, poached, rotisserie or roasted. Even if you use fried chicken, most of the fatty skin or coating falls away as you slice it. Preparing enough of any main-course meat to have leftovers for lunching is heart-smart. The need for buying high-sodium-infused deli meats is eliminated. Get other ideas from heart-healthy publications such as "Better Homes and Gardens Heart Healthy Living.” Such publications provide a real boost if you are short on ideas for heart-healthy cooking. It is like having a team of dietitians serving as menu coaches.
VideoWatch Sherrel Jones show Angi Bruss how to make Hold the Mayo Chicken Salad: newsok.com