A Fast, Fresh And Fruity Chicken Salad

Strawberries are a versatile fruit. DIANA HELFAND PHOTO

Strawberries are a versatile fruit. DIANA HELFAND PHOTO

Aiea resident Dr. James Choy has a simple philosophy that carries over to his dental practice: “Be, then do.” With his kind and compassionate nature, and a desire to help people, a career in dentistry was a perfect fit. His practice, Aloha Dental Associates, even has a logo of a heart with a tooth in the middle, which he describes as “dentistry with heart.”

Choy graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, and for relaxation he spends time with his family, watches all kinds of sports and enjoys beach activities.

Aloha Dental Associates has offices in Kaneohe, Kailua and Pupukea — but it isn’t only about dentistry. They believe in treating the whole individual, offering advice on nutrition and healthy eating.

Choy and his family try to eat minimally processed foods and get exercise regularly. He has been married for 12 years to wife Mina; they have three sons: Logan, 10, and Mason, 8, both students at Pearlridge Elementary School who enjoy soccer and baseball, and Noah, 7, a student at Gustav Webling Elementary School, who’s also active in sports. All the boys participate in judo for mind and body, and Mina is a volunteer at the children’s schools and with their sports teams. The Choys’ four-legged family member, Maddy, a Maltese mix, is doted on by all of them.

This recipe is dedicated to the Choy family. It’s a quick-to-prepare family dinner and the keiki can help. It’s a good way to use leftover chicken, but you also can have chicken breast sliced thick at the deli counter, and then cube it.

I like the combination of strawberries with dark-black, seedless grapes for eye appeal, and rosemary adds a nice flavor to the salad. You also may use low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise. Serve with warm dinner rolls and, for dessert, pitted dates cut up with navel orange segments, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with chopped walnuts.

California produces 75 percent of the nation’s strawberry crops, yielding an incredible 1 billion pounds of strawberries each year. There are more than 600 varieties of the fruit that differ in texture, color, flavor and size. A member of the rose family, the strawberry has seeds on the outside of the fruit, rather than the inside. When purchasing, look for firm, shiny berries with a healthy red color. Dull-colored strawberries tend to be overripe, so avoid dull or moldy fruit and check the bottom of the container to see that all the berries are in good condition. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, folate and vitamin A.


* 3 cups cubed cooked chicken

* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

* 1 small can water chestnuts, drained

* 1 teaspoon dried parsley

* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1 cup seedless black grapes, cut in half

* 1 cup firm strawberries, cut in bite-size pieces

* salt and pepper, to taste

* 1/4 to 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise (or to taste)

* 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

Mix all ingredients together, adding the strawberries last and tossing just to mix in. Add mayonnaise, to taste, and chill for at least two hours for best flavor. Divide lettuce onto six plates and spoon salad on top.

Makes six servings.