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With my super huge RV refrigerator, every trip is a challenge. I wonder if there’s a Class B out there with a fridge smaller than mine. That’s unlikely, because they don’t even MAKE a fridge smaller than mine! (James checked with Norcold…) I win the smallest RV fridge contest, people, so don’t even try to top me. In fact, I may even submit it to the Guinness Book of World Records just to make it official.
My hobbit fridge has come to be a welcome challenge, though, because I’ve been forced to discover all sorts of food tricks to help me maximize my space. Take something as simple as a sandwich for lunch. My picky RV pilot has requirements for his sandwich. If you’ve never been here before, James is one of those mildly compulsive system-obsessed geeks who reflexively resists “change.”
“This is highly irregular!” I hear that all the time around here. He’s convinced I was put on this planet to thwart his order and routines. Maybe I was, Dudley. Maybe I was.
This is what James needs on his sandwich or he won’t touch it:
- Pickles sliced longways
- Iceberg (AKA boring) lettuce
- Light mayo (and for the love of God if it’s Miracle Whip, there’ll be an instant divorce)
- Banana peppers
- Swiss Cheese
- Oven-roasted turkey
- White soft bread
Seven of those eight ingredients need the fridge. So that’s about half my fridge space gone just for one stupid sandwich! Unacceptable. That’s where my healthy homemade Orchard Chicken Salad recipe comes in. I had to find an acceptable sandwich alternative to save my fridge space and simultaneously satisfy Mr. Persnickety over there in the driver’s seat.
Here’s some pictures I took of the Orchard Chicken Salad in progress when I made it before heading out on our recent Steamboat Springs, Colorado trip. If you like Subway’s chicken salad, you’ll like this recipe, too. It’s very similar.
Look how pretty and fresh the ingredients look!
This is what you are seeing in the pic:
- 1 apple, diced
- ½ c grapes sliced in half
- ½ c dried cranberries
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 3 TBS walnuts, crushed
- Lemon juice squeeze
Once I dice the apple, I toss it with lemon juice. Then I add all the other tiny diced things to the bowl. Next, I stir in:
- ½ cup light mayo
- ½ cup Greek plain yogurt
I throw it in a Tupperware, and it’s ready for the RV fridge! I don’t add the chicken until during the trip. There are two ways to do this. The best is to grill up chicken for dinner at the RV park and make extra. Chop it up and add about two cups of it to the chicken salad mix the next day before lunch. Your other option is to bring along a 13 oz can of chicken breast, and stir that in right before lunch (canned chicken saves even more fridge space!). You could definitely mix your chicken in before the trip, but since James goes nuts if any smells come from the fridge (are you surprised?) and meats make the worst fridge odors, I wait.
According to James, there are 7! (or 5040) ways to layer his ingredients on a sandwich. Naturally, only one of them is correct. I apparently still haven’t figured out that one correct way, which is why I’m so happy with this recipe! No more pulling out seven ingredients and spending 20 minutes layering them on bread. I actually put the Orchard Chicken Salad on top of a bed of spinach and eat it just like that, but of course James uses his soft white bread…which is probably a habit he set back during his childhood days of Wonder bread. The good news is that he loves these chicken salad sandwiches! I always feel I’ve won some sort of battle on Planet James whenever I can introduce something new or get him to change one of his previously set habits. I foiled you again, dear hubby James! You haven’t seen the last of me!!!