Chicken-veggie spread a nice change from sweet holiday fare

What we need this time of year is a recipe that's festive, but not fussy. Flexible recipes can be counted on for parties, potlucks and visiting friends and family.

We also need more than just cookies, cakes and candies. Have you ever noticed how the dessert-end of any table's party spread is groaning under the plates and platters this time of year?

Today's recipe satisfies this need. With only 3 grams of fat and a healthy 7 grams of protein per two tablespoons, this is one festive food that won't add to our growing waistlines by the end of the year. Enjoy!

• Alicia Ross is the co-author of "Desperation Dinners!" Contact her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to

Festive Chicken-Vegetable Spread

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

½ cup sliced celery

¼ cup coarsely chopped carrots

¼ coarsely chopped onion

½ cup light sour cream

½ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste

Serving suggestions: crackers, toast points, celery sticks, carrot sticks, pepper strips, tomatoes

Place the chicken breasts in a pot large enough to hold them loosely. Cover them with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 15 minutes, covered. Remove to a storage container to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Place the cooled chicken in the work bowl of a food processor that's fitted with the steel blade attachment. Add the celery and carrots. Pulse until everything is finely chopped and shredded.

Add the onion, sour cream, mustard, water, salt and black pepper; pulse until well combined. Scrape into a serving or storage container and serve immediately with any of the suggested foods. You can refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

Start to finish: 30 minutes cooking chicken; 2 hours cooling; 15 minutes preparation

Yield: makes about 2 ½ cups

Approximate values per 2 tablespoons: 63 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 23 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 228 mg sodium.

- Alicia Ross





Caption 01: Photo by Alicia Ross for Kitchen Scoop.

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