Embellishing Classic Waldorf Salad

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 07, 2008
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CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY comes to Blaisdell Concert Hall May 6-11, right before the show heads to New York to make its Broadway debut.

Created by the multi-talented Neil Goldberg, the extravaganza has been garnering rave reviews all across the country for its creativity, dazzling aerialists and acrobats, beautiful costumes and colorful atmosphere.

According to Carly Sheridan, trapeze performer with CIRQUE DREAMS, wherever the cast travels, they explore local cuisine and favorite dining spots. Meals require advance scheduling to coincide with all the warm-ups, rehearsals and shows, and as Carly puts it, “I certainly don’t recommend swinging around on the trapeze with a full stomach.”

The performers are looking forward to being in Honolulu and especially to exploring fresh, fun and eclectic seafood preparations.

With a rigorous schedule - these are finely trained athletes and dancers - the cast looks forward to any days off, when apart from allowing their muscles to regenerate, they get to actually eat dinner at 6 p.m.

I would like to wish CIRQUE DREAMS well as it goes to Broadway, and dedicate this healthy dish, created in New York, to them.

Waldorf salad was first created at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 by the maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky, and was an instant success. Tschirky had a 40-year career and served every United States president in office during that time. He also helped to set standards for fine-dining that are still in use today.

Originally, this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became an essential part of the dish. The salad is traditionally served on a bed of lettuce.

Turn the salad into a main dish entree with the addition of strips of chicken breast, turkey or fish. All that is needed are some crusty rolls to complete the meal. For a sweet salad, mini marshmallows may be added.

This recipe is for one that I have embellished and is a favorite with my family.


* 31/2 cups chopped, peeled apples tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 cup finely chopped celery
* 1/3 cup golden raisins
* 1/3 cup green seedless grapes, halved
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (2 grams fat per serving)
* 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
* 2 tablespoons orange juice
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts(optional)

In large bowl, toss the apples with celery until well combined. Add raisins and grapes and toss lightly.

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt and orange juice until mixed well. Add honey and stir to combine. Add dressing to salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Makes eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving (without nuts):

Calories: 260
Fat: 3 grams
Cholesterol: 3 milligrams
Sodium: 140 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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