while some recipes are a challenge to get just right in the kitchen, others are easy… right up until i try to name them. sometimes this leads to stumbling around on google, trying to figure out what other people type in when they are looking for what i made. i try different combinations, trying to come up with something that is descriptive but not too descriptive (i.e. listing out every ingredient in the recipe name).
take this recipe, for example. should i just call it “orange chicken salad”? that’s simple, to the point. except that 99% of “chicken salad” recipes have mayo, which this definitely does not (which i think is a bonus for my fellow mayo-haters). so maybe i should call it “mayo-free orange chicken salad”.
but i’d rather describe it by what it does have, the ingredients that make it unique. so maybe “orange chicken salad with almonds and olives” is the best name for it. except that people just seeing that name without reading me going on about how good it is and how well the flavors work together might think that orange + almonds + olives is not such a good idea (it is, though. truly.).
but wait! there’s also avocado in here! the internet loves avocado! so maybe i should call it “chicken, avocado, and orange salad”. that also gets us away from the mayo mindset, right? i think maybe we have a winner.
luckily, coming up with the right name for this chicken, avocado, and orange salad (yeah, i think that works…) was the most difficult part of the process. i saw a similar-ish recipe in a cookbook i had borrowed from the library (seriously, one of my favorite things to do; browsing the cookbook section at the library is like strolling through paradise) and decided to try it.
well, except that you know that i modified the original recipe based on my flavor (tangy!) and texture (crunchy!) preferences… and, let’s be honest, what i had in my fridge at the time. in went the crunchy red cabbage, the toasted slivered almonds, the cilantro, and the avocado. salad without avocado is… a waste of an opportunity to eat avocado.
i whipped up a tangy, citrusy (mayo free!) vinaigrette dressing to tie the whole thing together and was rewarded with a satisfying, crunchy, savory, tangy, fresh, winter-is-still-here-but-i’m-sick-of-heavy-food salad. whether we call it “chicken, avocado, and orange salad” or just delicious turns out to not much matter…
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
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