Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

This easy healthy chicken salad recipe with pecans and cranberries takes just minutes to whip up and makes the perfect entree, appetizer, or snack. It’s gluten free and dairy free too. Jump to Recipe

One of the things that comes along with moving is restocking the pantry. Of course, I hauled over a cooler of snacks the very first day we had keys to the house, but since we couldn’t actually move in for a few weeks after that, I impatiently waited to do a full re-stock.

We didn’t move that far, but I’m still learning the area and what’s closest to us. First up: grocery stores.

The prices at the first one I checked out were pleasantly surprising, especially the produce section, and though not super extensive, I was impressed with the gluten-free/allergy-friendly sections. I saw one right off the bat when we walked in the door and found another mid-way through our journey. As much as I like seeing gluten-free options on the shelves right along side everything else, it’s nice and convenient to be able to go to one section and grab and go instead of hunting.

Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe with pecans and cranberries

Food Lion also has a new online recipe portal that was helpful for coming up with ideas for some meals to cook in our first week in our new home. I’m used to having staples in the kitchen, so it was a good reminder of what I needed to toss in the cart for this first big shopping trip. The portal is easy to navigate, user-friendly, and has a good variety of ideas. I jotted down some gluten-free cinnamon rolls, paleo zucchini muffins, and pesto pizza rolls for the husband.

I’ve also contributed to the recipe portal with one of my favorite grocery store deli counter inspired options: cranberry pecan chicken salad.

Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe with Pecans and Cranberries {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

This cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe takes just minutes to whip up and makes the perfect entree, appetizer, or snack. It's gluten free and dairy free too.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 T minced parsley
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Combine chicken, cranberries, pecans, celery, and parsley.
  3. Mix in mayo mixture.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Healthy chicken salad recipe - gluten free dairy free

I love using rotisserie chickens because they’re already cooked and ready to go, plus they have a ton of flavor, but feel free to use any kind of chicken you have.

Rotisserie chicken salad recipe

This healthy chicken salad recipe is one of my favorite easy recipes for the whole family, especially because it’s on of the few “normal” entrees my three year old eats without complaining. The secret to all things toddler food: Craisins. Shh don’t tell.

Cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe - gluten free dairy free

So next time you’re looking for an easy chicken salad recipe, try this. I like making a big batch at the beginning of the week and snacking on it for a few days. We use it as a sandwich filler, an appetizer served with tortilla chips, and a green salad topper, although most of the time we eat it right out of the bowl with a fork.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Click here for more Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipes that won’t leave you trapped in the kitchen for hours or hunting down a million bizarre ingredients.

Easy Homemade Tuna Fish Sticks {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

These gluten free, dairy free homemade fish sticks are a great alternative to the freezer variety. This fish sticks recipe is fresher, healthier, and fun for kids to make too. 

Easy homemade fish sticks that are gluten free and dairy free. Perfect for making ahead and freezing.
Back to school means more than growing up and watching another year tick by – it means time to pack lunch after lunch after lunch and be prepared for dinners on the fly and on the go, as you shuffle from activity to activity. Time suddenly seems to go out the window and everything can feel rushed and hurried.

Luckily I still have a few more years before the real hustle and bustle starts, but I still feel the pain of having to always have  lunch-ready food on hand, and most definitely feel the strain of needing to have a quick and easy {yet still healthy} dinner ready for my family every night. {Especially when our meal choices need to be gluten free and dairy free recipes.} Moving further away from our old activities has meant a lot of extra time spent in the car and not so much extra time left for things like food prep and cooking big meals.

Easy gluten free fish sticks recipe

On top of that, my kid is like so many other kids when it comes to food preference: he’d pick chicken nuggets and fish sticks every single deal, every single meal if I let him. It’d be really easy to cave in to that go-to choice every time we’re in a rush or in a bind, so instead I try to have things that are just as easily ready and available, but a bit less processed. One of old stand-by favorites are these paleo sweet potato chicken patties – there’s almost always a batch ready to go in the freezer – but lately I’ve been trying to broaden our horizons and added some fish sticks to the mix. This fish sticks recipe has made our easy, weeknight meal repertoire a little bigger.

homemade fish sticks recipe

These homemade fish sticks are still super easy to prepare as they use canned tuna {no need to have fresh fish on hand} and come together in no time. Plus tuna is packed with protein and healthy fats, so it’s a choice I feel good about feeding my kiddo. They’re gluten free and dairy free too. They’re good fresh, but I always make extra to pop in the freezer for those busy days and nights.

fish sticks using canned tuna

Full disclaimer: this is not the most attractive entrée I’ve ever made, although I think with a little practice I could probably do better. But it didn’t stop anybody from eating them!

tuna fish sticks kid friendly fish sticks make ahead fish sticks recipe kid dinners

Gluten Free Fish Sticks Recipe

Easy Homemade Tuna Fish Sticks {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

Gluten free dairy free fish sticks (dfgf)

by with a Side of Sneakers


  • 1 5oz can Bumble Bee tuna
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/8-1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/8 cup almond flour


Combine tuna and most of the egg – save a little for an “egg wash”.

Add flour a little at a time – I used about 1/8 cup of flour but you might need more, especially if you use a flour that doesn’t absorb as much liquid.

It should still look a little dry but you’ll know you’re set when you can form the tuna into a stick shape.

Form “sticks”, then dip lightly into leftover egg and roll in almond flour to create coating.

Cook over medium heat in a saute pan with a little oil, a few minutes on each side until they get crispy.

Allow to cool completely before refrigerating or freezing if saving for later.

Feel free to add any flavor combo your family or kiddos like – lemon juice, Italian seasoning, cumin, etc.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Click here for more Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipes that won’t leave you trapped in the kitchen for hours or hunting down a million bizarre ingredients.

18 Fabulous Spiralized Recipes

Awhile back I wrote about how much I love using my spiralizer for making easy, healthy meals with lots of veggies. Here are a few delicious recipes for you to try:

18 spiralized recipes

Vegetable Cornmeal Fritters

Garlic Asiago Baked Spiral Fries

Purple Cauliflower Thai Green Coconut Curry with Carrot Noodles

Spicy Spiralized Shoe String Jicama Fries

Broccoli Carrot Slaw Salad

spiral sliced vegetable recipes

Avocado Basil Zucchini Noodles with Chile Lime Shrimp

Creamy Garlic Alfredo with Arugula & Zucchini Linguine

Smoked Chorizo & Kale Butternut Squash Noodle Skillet

Cucumber Mint Noodles with Ginger Dressing

Paleo Chicken Tetrazzini

spiralized veggies

Salmon with Butternut Squash Noodles

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper Alfredo Zoodles

Thai Red Curry Coconut Sweet Potato Noodles

Carrot Pasta with Creamy Zesty Garlic Sauce

Carrot Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Thai Basil Sambal Noodles

Plantain Rice & Beans


Do you have a favorite to add to the list?

You can also follow my Spiralized Recipes board on Pinterest for more ideas!

Tuna Cakes with Jalapeno Mustard Dip {Paleo}

  easy paleo tuna cakes recipe Ok last back-to-school themed post. {Ok, not really, because I have yet to inundate you with photos and musings of my two-year old’s start of preschool.} Really the only thing that makes a difference for back to school at the non-homework, non-sports/clubs/activities age is that you have to pack lunch. A lunch that other people will see. It’s like opening up a little window into the private world of how you feed your kid. I can only imagine what teachers think when they see what I put in KB’s lunchbox. But I’m not really into worrying about other people’s judgements, so no pressure there. If you do have a homework-aged, tons of after-school-activities-aged kid, the other key factor is having easy, go-to dinners at the ready. tuna cakes recipe I like to make those easy, go-to meals work for both dinner and a packed school lunch the next day. So here ya go: a dinner that myself, the husband, and the toddler scarfed down last night with just enough leftovers to pack a lunch. And yes, it used tuna, but no, it doesn’t make the whole room smell when you open the lunchbox like happens with tuna salad. tuna recipe

Tuna Cakes with Jalapeno Mustard Dip

by with a Side of Sneakers

Ingredients (8 cakes)

    For the Tuna Cakes

    • 2 5-oz Bumble Bee Tuna Pouches in Water – Premium Albacore Tuna or Light Tuna {available in cans too}
    • 1 carrot
    • 1/2 cup zucchini
    • 1/4 cup red onion
    • 1/4 red bell pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt-free seafood seasoning blend

    For the Sauce

    • 2 Tbsp mayo {paleo-friendly if necessary}
    • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 Tbsp chopped jalapenos
    • 1/2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
    • splash hot sauce


    For the Tuna Cakes

    Shred carrots, onion, pepper, and zucchini in food processor or blender.

    Mix all ingredients together.

    Form into small patties, squeezing excess liquid out if necessary. {Add more flour if they won’t hold together.}

    Place on saute pan over medium heat and cook for several minutes on each side.

    Let cool slightly before serving to help patties stay intact.

    For the Sauce

    Stir all ingredients together and serve on top of zucchini cakes.

    Powered by Recipage

    paleo tuna cakes recipe

    For more Bumble Bee tuna recipes click here.

    IMG_2497 (500x375)

    What’s your favorite double-duty, back-to-school meal that works for dinner and lunchboxes? Do you have a favorite tuna recipe?

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Sweet Potato Chicken Patties {Paleo}

    These sweet potato chicken patties are a great make ahead meal. They’re gluten free, dairy free, and paleo. They’re great straight out of the oven or frozen and reheated for a quick weeknight meal when you’re in a hurry.

    One of the hardest things about following a “special” diet is coming up with a new set of family-favorite staples. Something that meets the odd dietary needs of two family members, keeps the Husband happy, and pleases the palates of both toddlers and adults. Instead of revamping our old staple dinners and having them be not just-quite-right, I’ve been trying to coming up with things that are entirely new, but not extravagant.

    sweet potato chicken patties

    Despite an old need for creativity of meals in my pre-family days, I’ve learned that the easiest way to come up with a delicious, crowd-pleasing meal that I’m actually interested in making for dinner in the middle of the week, is dropping the standards of creativity and newness. Instead, sometimes it’s better just to go back to basics and perhaps add a little twist. So often the best meals are discovered when you have “nothing to eat” or failed to plan a meal. That’s exactly how our new favorite meal was born: sweet potato chicken patties.

    chicken patties

    Sweet Potato Chicken Patties

    Hardly genius or original, but new and different to us. Plus, these chicken patties naturally lack dairy, gluten, and soy, and are full of both veggies and protein, making it perfect toddler and adult food. I’ve been making these about once every two weeks, enjoying the leftovers {and thus already-made meal} just as much as the originals. If we begin to tire of them, at least it’s a recipe that’s easy to change up with the different vegetables and seasons. As usual, I don’t do the best job measuring or exactly recreating the recipe each time, so consider it more of an idea or suggestion than strict rules.

    easy paleo recipe

    Sweet Potato Chicken Patties

    by with a Side of Sneakers


    Ingredients (6-8)

    • 1 large sweet potato, cooked & mashed {chop skin if including}
    • 1 pound ground chicken
    • 1 egg
    • 1-2 Tablespoons coconut flour (or other flour of choice}
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 1/4 cup roasted peppers, chopped
    • 1 tsp poultry or steak seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp curry powder


    Blend all ingredients together. You’ll probably need to use your hands. Form into patties. It’ll make about 6 to 8 depending on size. Pop in the oven at 350 for 25ish minutes and you’ve got dinner on the table.

    Powered by Recipage

    patties and parsnips

    These chicken patties are great served over wilted greens like kale or spinach. Of course I chose to photograph them the day I made them with only parsnip fries. Doesn’t make a stunning photo but man parsnip fries are way better than any vegetable should be.

    toddler friendly dinner

    Paleo sweet potato chicken patties - gluten free, dairy free. Great for making ahead of time and freezing for a quick weeknight meal.


    What’s your favorite go-to weeknight meal?

    If you like this, check these recipes out:

    Paleo Tuna Cakes with Jalapeno Mustard Sauce

    Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

    Salted Caramel Snack Balls


    Click here for more Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipes that won’t leave you trapped in the kitchen for hours or hunting down a million bizarre ingredients.

    Naked Power

    Today I have a fun post sponsored by Naked’s new Power Garden juices.

    enchilada sauce-9016

    I’m not particularly a fan of hiding fruits or veggies in other foods, because it’s so often done in a deceitful manner to deceive kids. I don’t like lying about what’s in foods, but I definitely love maximizing the nutrition of my favorite recipes. It’s why I put zucchini, pumpkin, or carrots in muffins, apples in oatmeal, loads of veggies in pasta sauce, and spinach in smoothies.

    enchilada sauce-9018

    Naked is known for their juices and smoothies that pack pounds of fruits and veggies in a single bottle. Their new line, Power Garden, has two flavors loaded with the good stuff: Tomato Kick and Berry Veggie.

    Naked asked ddsdsrgdhfgfhetrtre23fgteyt2rt5555GFgFgfGT$g/df’[/fd4;.4;d5[/5[[//[]/]%

    Ahem… I may or may not be sitting on a porch with a bunch of helpful toddlers…

    As I was saying, Naked asked a few of us to create some recipes using their pumped up juices. I’ve probably mentioned 5,495.394 times that I hate tomatoes, so I was pretty sure I would use the Berry juice for my recipe, but once I got to thinking, I decided to embrace the challenge and use the Tomato Kick juice.

    The result? Pretty snazzy:

    enchilada sauce-9021

    Slightly spicy meets cilantro-citrus infused enchilada sauce, made with Naked’s Tomato Kick juice- a fun way to add in an extra dose of veggies. A great way to jazz up your favorite enchilada recipe. Complements these pineapple-laced enchiladas quite well!

    Orange Enchilada Sauce

    by with a Side of Sneakers



    • 1 Tbsp butter {vegan or regular}
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons chili powder
    • 12 oz tomato paste
    • 1 1/4 cup Naked Tomato Kick juice
    • 3/4 cup orange juice
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 2 garlic cloves minced garlic
    • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tsp orange zest
    • salt to taste


    Bring sauce pan to medium heat. Melt butter then stir in cornstarch. Add Tomato Kick juice and whisk until combined, then add tomato paste and remaining ingredients.

    Once thouroughly combined, reduce heat to low and simmer about ~10 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens.

    Serve over your favorite enchiladas and top with orange zest.

    Powered by Recipage



    Check back Monday June 17th to learn about The Naked Power Garden Pinterest Sweepstakes.


    Power Garden is Naked Juice’s new veggie drink lineup with 1lb. of veggies in every bottle*.  With delicious flavors that only Naked could blend, Power Garden offers one of the easiest ways to get your daily servings of veggies and fruits, along with good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Learn more at “>”>http://  *weight of vegetables, prior to juicing

    Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Naked via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Naked.

    What’s your favorite way to pump up the veggie content of a recipe?