Grapefruit, avocado salad with chicken

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Just as cold months have us clambering for thick, rich foods, warmer months are all about salads and grilling. Our bodies instinctually know we don’t need as much fat when it’s warm, but we do need more hydration, and the season is ripe for beautiful fruits and vegetables.

Below is an easy salad packed with flavor and health benefits.

Grapefruit is loaded with water, fiber, vitamin C and lycopene. It helps you feel full, slim down, fight aging cells and build immunity.

Avocados are great for eyes, skin, hair, heart, good cholesterol, fighting cravings for bad fats, absorbing other nutrients…they’re even good for unborn babies.

Walnuts help with weight management, sleep, hair, heart disease, skin, preventing cancer, diabetes and dementia, and fighting off stress.

Basil has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.

Put them all together, and you get a glow-inducing meal that tastes as amazing as it is healthy.

Grapefruit, avocado salad with chicken

  • 1 package of mixed greens
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp jelly (I used peach, but the fruit won’t be strong enough to alter the flavor, so use what you have)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Torn/cut grilled or rotisserie chicken

Wash all greens (if needed) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop up grapefruit and avocado into chunks. Mix oil, vinegar, dijon and jelly. Toast walnuts in skillet or oven. Put all ingredients, including chicken, in a large bowl, toss with dressing and serve.

 

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Recipe: Tropical Summer Salad, Grilled Chicken and Veggies, and Spicy Chocolate Cake

What’s great about this meal? Aside from perfectly highlighting the amazing flavors of the season, your body gets tons of fruit, veggies, protein and fiber, it’s really tough to screw up, and the marinade adds enough flavor that you don’t need any sauce (read “added calories”) to enhance the flavor.

The portions below are for a 4 person meal, although the cake should stretch farther ;-). The entire meal takes about 45 mins; 15 to prep, 30 to cook – not counting the time the chicken is marinating.

Recipe #1: Chicken + Marinade

  • Gallon-size ziploc
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Blood orange juice – about 2 cups/enough to cover chicken when combined with other marinade ingredients
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of two limes
  • 2 tsps Chipotle Tabasco.

Combine liquid ingredients and add to ziploc with chicken breasts. Marinate for at least 1 hour. We also marinated two portabello mushrooms since my sister-in-law is a vegetarian, and they came out yummy, too.

To cook: Preheat grill and cook chicken for about 12-15 minutes (depending on how large your breasts are…hee hee) on each side over medium heat. Let sit for 5 minutes after you take it off the grill.

Recipe #2: Grill Wok Vegetables

  • Grill wok
  • 2 large red peppers quartered
  • 1 pineapple halved and sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO

Toss fruit and vegetables with olive oil and grill at medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently so everything is exposed to the grill flame.

Recipe #3: Tropical Summer Salad

  • Head of Romaine Lettuce chopped/torn
  • 1/2 English Cucumber chopped
  • 1 Mango chopped
  • 2 Tbsps EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 1/2 tsps chili powder
  • Juice of 2 limes.

Combine oil, honey, lime juice and chili powder. Toss with lettuce, cucumber and mango, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.

I recommend eating all of your grilled ingredients together (hello, party in your mouth) alongside the salad.

Recipe #4: Spicy Chocolate Cake

  • I pkg Gluten-free chocolate cake mix (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2/3 cup of natural, no-sugar added applesauce
  • one egg
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Mix cake mix, applesauce, egg and soy milk and pour into lightly greased brownie/cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp chili powder on top, drizzle with 1 Tbsp of honey. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

*If you can get your hands on a can of pumpkin – not the pie filling kind – you can mix that with the cake mix instead of the applesauce, egg and soy milk. It’s harder to find out of season, but it’s a great way to add fiber and serve up a really moist dessert.