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Ham Salad Craving!

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Old 06-11-2008, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default Ham Salad Craving!

I've been experimenting with modifying my favorite recipes to boost the nutriton, increase the fiber, decrease the calories... I've been craving ham salad, and wanted to satisfy the craving with a healthier alternative, and the experiment was definitely a whole-hearted sucess. It even passed the skeptically suspicious, meat-loving husband test.

I substituted tvp and wheat berries for most of the ham in my favorite recipe.

Oh, my so absolutely yummy. I haven't figured the exact calorie savings and fiber bonus, but I used a LOT less mayo than I would for my regular ham salad, because the mixture was quite moist from the simmering liquid. Hubby loved it too (which I can barely believe, because he's very picky about my "reduced-meat" concoctions. If there's a noticeable taste or texture discrepancy, he wants no part of it). Hubby said that my "sham salad" tasted very good and ham-salady. The wheat berries added a chewier texture than he would expect from a "real" ham salad, but he was pleasantly surprised that it actually "added something."

I agree. I think it was actually a lot better than regular ham salad. I ate it without toast, as the wheat berries were a starch serving, but it would have been very good on whole wheat toast. Regular ham salad would be too rich for me to want to eat with a fork though, and often ham salad leaves a fatty "film" in my mouth. This lighter version didnt.

I think this one is going into my dream cookbook.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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Colleen - can you post a more detailed recipe? I rarely eat ham salad, but it's one of those foods from childhood - my grandmother made it - that I do love. I would like to try this.

Thanks!!!
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #3
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Sure.

It's a bit of a multi-part recipe, and I sort of threw it together, so next time I make it I'm planning on measuring precisely and figuring out the nutritional info.

But anyway I cooked some wheat berries (red winter wheat, I think) and spelt berries (spelt is a variety of wheat also). The variety isn't important because the tastes and textures are similar chewy and mildly nutty in flavor. I'm tempted to try it with rye berries, but haven't tried those yet.

You can boil wheat berries in water for about an hour until tender (can take more or less time, so you have to start checking for tenderness at around 45 minutes). But instead what I did is rinsed the berries and put them in a crockpot with 4 parts water to 1 part berries and cooked on low overnight for 10 to 12 hours. I made a large batch using about 1.5 cups of wheat berries and 6 cups of water. I had them for a couple days, eating them with splenda, cinammon and milk for breakfast, stirring them into taco filling as a beef extender, and in the ham salad.

I ground some ham in my food processor, I used a deli-sliced boiled "honey ham," about 1 cup. I put it in a large non-stick skillet with about 1 cup of dry tvp granules, nearly 3 cups of the cooked wheat berries and about 1 1/4 cup water. I added about 1 rounded teaspoon of a ham soup base (a bouillon powder) I bought in a bulk store, but chicken bouillon powder and a drop of liquid smoke would have worked fine, I think. I simmered until the liquid was absorbed into the tvp.

I spooned the mixture in a bowl, covered it and stuck it in the fridge to cool. Basically because I got lazy. I think I could as easily have mixed the ham salad and then let it cool.

So anyway the next day I added about one large celery stalk, diced small (think it could have used a bit more), two green onions, diced small, and about 1/4 cup of sweet pickle relish (maybe could have used a bit more of this also) and added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Hellman's regular mayo, but next time I'll use Hellman's Canola mayo, because it only has 50 calories per tablespoons and I think tastes really good. Their olive oil mayo might be good to.

I know the regular mayo doesn't make it as light as it could be, but I know that using my mom's traditional recipe with full-fat ham and up to twice the regular mayo would have been alot worse.
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Last edited by kaplods : 06-11-2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:46 AM   #4
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I just now am checking some old threads... I gotta copy this to my recipe folder. Like I said, I LOVE ham salad! Thanks!
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