chicken waldorf salad wraps

These wraps, which I’ve had for lunch for the last three days, illustrate one of the best parts of working from home. Because, are you ready? When you call your kitchen table your office, this is what happens: you pull open your Google Reader on a casual Tuesday afternoon, see a recipe you’d like to try and, instead of just bookmarking it for later, you walk to the kitchen right that moment, pull out ingredients and, in minutes, see exactly what it tastes like.

chicken waldorf salad

Like I said though, that’s just one of the best parts of working from home, and since a couple of you have been wanting an update on the self-employment situation anyway, it’s probably time I told you about some of the other benefits.

First of all: It’s been almost five months, can you believe that? Five months since I set my alarm for the same time every morning. Five months since I said, Oh, I can’t; I have to work. Five months of setting my own schedule and working fewer hours (and, admittedly, also making less money). People ask me all the time how it’s been going, and I’m sorry to say my standard answer is awful—something about how things are up and down, how I’m still learning what I’m doing, that I’ll reevaluate after six months. I’ve got to work on that because, really, the truth is: it’s been good.

chicken waldorf salad wraps

I went through my financial records last week, determining my average monthly income and budgeting time for upcoming projects, and you know what? It’s been really, really good. I’m not rich, I’m not all sunshine and roses all the time, but every one of my needs has been provided, I’ve gotten several new clients when I lost one, I have the free time like I’ve always wanted. So while I know myself and therefore realize things may seem very glass-half-empty come tomorrow morning, right now, this moment, I am thankful—thankful to sip homemade chai tea lattes at my computer, to run errands in daylight, to have time to work out or clean or, no kidding, take naps in the afternoon. I am thankful to not be making a lot but to always be making enough. And I want to remember this feeling.

holding a wrap

In a recent post at A Sweet Spoonful, Meg wrote about remembering forward to next November, imagining what you’d like to change about your life as if it will really happen. And ironically, it got me thinking about last November, when I never would have guessed I’d leave my job or, launch into something risky or, work for myself like I’d always wished I could. I’m so glad these changes came, for as long or as short as they end up lasting, and I’m so glad to find myself where I am right now—working in blue jeans while I eat homemade chicken salad wraps, counting my blessings.






Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps
Adapted from Everybody Loves Sandwiches
Makes 4 to 6 large wraps

Despite how little detail I gave about these wraps in the above point, let me tell you this: they’re great. The salad you wrap in tortillas is at once sweet, crunchy, soft and tart. It’s a great blend of flavors and textures, making it perfect for wraps, scooped onto crackers or even eaten with a big spoon. Plus, it’s super versatile, easy to adapt with what you have on hand like I did.

Ingredients:
1 cup plain yogurt
juice of 1 large orange
salt and pepper to taste

about a cup of baby spinach, shredded & chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
Leftover cooked chicken, chopped (I used three chicken tenders)
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

4-6 large or 10-12 small tortillas (I like these)

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and orange juice. Set aside.

Combine the spinach, apple, and onion into a large bowl and toss well. Pour dressing over salad, add in the nuts, cherries and sesame seeds and give everything a final toss.

Add a couple large spoonfuls (at least a cup or so) of the salad into the middle of each tortilla and roll tightly, like a burrito, or skip the wrap and just eat as a salad or with crackers!

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Angharad

    Congratulations to you! I have to say it sounds beyond wonderful to me to be able to wake up at my chosen hour and be present during the daylight hours some more. I hope you can enjoy it as much as possible! Along with another one of those delicious looking wraps!

  2. Hannah

    This post was a joy to read. I always love hearing folks working-for-themselves experiences, since that’s what I’m doing too. If nothing else, it makes you thankful for every single job you get, and so grateful for our heavenly father that provides just enough for our needs. it reminds me of this verse:

    Proverbs 30:8 “…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

    i’m definitely trying out this recipe soon! looks right up my alley.

  3. Kim

    Well golly, that all just sounds fantastic. Congratulations on a wonderful work-from-home situation and all your success…and oh boy I’m excited to try this chicken salad.

  4. kickpleat

    Hooray for freelance living! There are rough patches (but never that rough) and there’s so much to love. I’m going through one of those rough patches right now, but it’s okay, because I know it’s going to get better (& really, it isn’t that bad). Whatever, I’m in my pj’s and I’m eating waldorf salad wraps. It’s a nice part of living. Glad you loved this recipe as much as I did. I bet you’ll be making it often!

  5. Sarka

    I’m so glad I discovered your blog, you are such an amazing writer! This post is beautiful and sounds so familiar. You have wonderfully described my own feelings and thoughts after I started to work for myself. I’m definitely not rich, but I’m much happier and that’s what I appreciate and what keeps me going!

  6. Maria

    This is lovely, Shanna. Just enough sounds just right. I don’t right now, but one day, I hope to have the courage (I struggled with the right word here, but courage is it) to know I will succeed at something that is completely mine and of my making. I can’t imagine this move has been without moments of fear and uncertainty for you, but look what you’ve created! Wonderful.

  7. Alicia

    First off, I recognized those Ezekiel wraps immediately. Loooove them! Secondly, I totally agree that one of the best parts of working at home is getting to make meals right then and there. No packing sandwiches for later that are soggy by the time you eat them. So amazing! There are def perks to working at home, like we talked about at dinner the other night, so if we could remind each other every so often, that’d be great. I’m proud of you for wearing blue jeans!! (You can usually find me in pajama pants.)

  8. Shannalee

    Angharad, Thank you!

    Hannah, Oh, I love that you wrote that. And that verse is so appropriate!

    Kim, Thanks, friend!

    kickpleat, I’m so glad you posted it and that I was able to use it—right away! : )

    Aw, Carrie, you’re so kind. Thank you for that encouraging comment!

    Sarka, Thank you so much! Love hearing that you’re in a similar place and finding it to be good for you. That’s awesome.

    Jeannie, Amen. I couldn’t agree more!

    Maria, I’d say your lovely blog is very much yours and of your making—and that’s why I love it!

    Alicia, You are good! I’m new to the wraps, but they’re really not bad at all! And yeah, it’s great to have a self-employed-writer friend to bounce thoughts of; thanks for listening the other night, when somehow I ended up doing most of the talking (?). We’ll have to keep reminding each other about the good things.

    Tim, Hahaha, well, thanks!

    Anne, This version has no mayo! Nothing to fear! And HA! Congrats!

  9. Megan Gordon

    5 months! Nope! Don’t believe it for a second. I feel like it was just yesterday…things are going well though, it seems. I agree with Anne in that my mom always makes this with A TON of mayo. and it always grossed me out. But this is a different story with yogurt, cherries, spinach. Must try soon. Happy Thanksgiving and here’s to the next 5 months…

  10. Kasey

    Good for you! I remember first reading your post about leaving your job (can’t believe it’s already been 5 months!) and thinking how awesome and brave it was. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

  11. Pingback: 4 Summer Salads + My Brother's Nashville Video | Food Loves Writing

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