July 28, 2011

Summer Salad with Lean Chicken Breast and Avocado

It's the height of summer season with the heat literally slowing you down, phew

How about a salad? Something light and healthy, something that’s feasible to make and delicious to eat? Well, if you feel like munching a salad, what could be better than this one that ticks all the boxes!!? 

Yes, this lean chicken breast and avocado salad makes an easy, feel good, solo meal, ideal for a long hot day or lazy summer night. Bonus? It’s super healthy without any calorie penalty.


See, when it comes to staying fit and healthy, you don’t necessarily have to starve yourself or stick to a diet to boost your self-esteem. All you need is to be a bit more aware of your food and the choices that you make. White meat like chicken makes a healthier choice when compared red meat. Given a choice, use white skinless breast meat instead of thigh meat. Likewise, include a nutrient rich veggie/fruit as part of your meal. These smart li'l choices will definitely go a long way towards your eating healthy and staying fit goals.

I’m fond of fruits in savory salads. In this case, avocado gives the salad a creamy richness that's satiating. Per World’s Healthiest Foods, “Recent research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—increases significantly when fresh avocado is added to an otherwise avocado-free salad.” So why hesitate from enjoying a few slices of avocado in your meal? Just remember, vinegar or lime juice is key to prevent discoloration.
A few weeks ago, when my hubby was away on business and I was alone at lunchtime, I made this salad and enjoyed it all by myself. And I'll tell you, it felt good to eat a light, balanced meal, and that too minus all the usual hassle in the kitchen. Last week, I made it again. This time for him to relish. Diligently retesting the recipe as well.

Though I love to cut down on time and effort, there’s no sacrifice on taste. I marinated the chicken for an hour and used a griddle pan for a lovely chargrilled taste. A bit of sugar in the marinade enhanced the char. The grilled chicken was a perfect compliment to the tangy salad dressing.
On another note, I’d like to publish consistently, and as often as my time would allow. But with Ramadan just around the corner and our vacation planned for mid Ramadan, I can’t help feeling overwhelmed. I hope to be able to continue my regular weekly posts, at least until vacation whatever.
Summer salad with lean chicken breast and avocado

(lightly adapted from Good Food magazine)

Ingredients
Serves 1

1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast

For the marinade
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dry oregano
generous pinch garlic powder
generous pinch light brown sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt, to taste

For the salad
3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ small avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
½ small yellow bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, to taste

Directions

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Lay the chicken in a shallow dish or tray, and rub the marinade all over. Allow to stand, in the refrigerator, for an hour for maximum flavor, or at least 20-30 minutes.

Heat the griddle pan to medium-low heat. When it is hot, wipe it with a muslin cloth dipped in olive oil. Cook chicken for 6-7 minutes each side, or until lightly charred and cooked through. Keep an eye on the temperature or the chicken will burn before it cooks through, and brush the meat with a bit of oil to keep it tender. Alternatively, you can grill the chicken on the barbecue over a moderate heat, or brown the chicken in a hot pan and then transfer to an oven to cook—your choice. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a board and cut into thick slices.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Stir all the salad ingredients together, in a bowl, with some seasoning. Serve the sliced chicken with the salad, a wedge of lime and a twist of pepper, if you like.

Enjoy the beautiful fresh summery flavors with a glass of chilled drink.




Try it, I think you'll like it too.

62 comments:

  1. Amazing pics. I am not a salad person, but after reading the post, I do feel like a light salad will be nice. Infact, you have succeeded in making me feel guilty about not including salads and healthy food as part of my regular diet! Somehow I always feel, healthy =non tasty. But this recipe sounds good, chicken and avacado, it should be tasty.

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  2. Woww!! A hearty salad.. Beautifully arranged... Avacado is the main highlight here. A healthy tasty lunch indeed :)

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  3. Indu, it's not that I'm on a salad kick or anything.. but it does make me feel good when I chose salad over other tempting meals :) And these days with the soaring temperatures, I just don't wanna be in the kitchen too long and salads are the best way to keep it light and easy :)

    Hey butterfly, it's funny how I never asked your name..sorry! Yes, the salad is definitely healthy and tasty too :)

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  4. WOW.. Amazing pictures.. and such a light salad.. this recipe will make even non salad eaters tempting..

    Jabeen's Corner is hosting an event with a surprise giveaway.. U are Invited !! Do send your entries..

    Jabeen's Corner

    Ongoing Event-Iftar nights

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  5. Nice clicks dear. Loved all the ingredients that has gone into that salad. Refreshing and yummy

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  6. Simply amazing salad, those raw picture of chicken is a big Wow! Thank you for linking with Any One Can Cook, also regarding your question about Iftar Moments, it closes by the end of this month. Looking forward to your entries :) Archived recipes are also accepted.

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  7. Thanks Jabeen, will sure check out your event details and see what I can do. Have fun hosting!

    Vimitha, thanks much sweetie!

    Ayeesha, thanks. I'd sure love to submit something for the Iftar moments, hope I'll be able to make it in time.

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  8. Thanks for these lovely entries...BTW where's your "about" section with your pic. We would surely love to see the lady behind these beautiful creations :)

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  9. very healthy n delicious.great clicks.

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  10. Anamika dear, I just like to stay behind the parda.. er, scenes... lol. Seriously, I've been thinking about doing that section. Hopefully the thoughts will materialize soon :) See, I haven't even updated my recipe list or the other page for a while now, how bad!

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  11. chicken breast salad looks too good n refreshing...lovely clicks...

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  12. Superb salad... light yet satisfying... thanks for sending to my event...

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  13. Healthy and filling salad..refreshing and yumm

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  14. Colorful, refreshing & healthy!!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  15. Amazing colours and ooh what a salad!!
    Never liked the taste of Avocado. But now I am tempted to try this one. :)

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  16. Wow...Healthy and delicious...Love all the clicks...everything looks very fresh and bright....

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  17. Nice healthy salad !! awesome clicks !!

    Ongoing Event - CC-Roti Pachadi/Chutney

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  18. nashi, love your clicks, and certainly love the salad..I definitely love this kind of dish than the ghee laden ones!

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  19. wow healthy and yummy........

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  20. Beautiful pictures! Salad looks very nice and healthy :)

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  21. Such beautiful pics! Lovely salad. How does one follow you on twitter?

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  22. Love this dish. It looks fantastic! :)

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  23. Hiya..nice simple one and loved the idea of adding sugar to the marinade.Pic with the parsley-tomato-lemon was brilliant. And now with your permission being openly critical. I thought the rubber band on the parsley bunch made it look a lil-whats-the-word not real. Ring you up soon..
    PS: Was it Sadia chicken breast that you used or farm chicken breast ? Which one would you recommend?

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  24. wow..that's one beautiful and colorful salad...looks very delicious!!!

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  25. Oh my goodness! This looks so delicious (I should stop surfing when I should be cooking instead). Your photos are gorgeous as well. What a lovely post.

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  26. Hey Nash , the salad looks gorgeous , my family and i are big salad lovers so will def give this one a try , my motto is to eat healthy this ramadan , hope i can stick to it ;) .

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  27. Thank you, girls! Salads are great for your self-esteem, and in this case it makes a balanced meal with the chicken thrown in—that too without all the fat and calories. So next time you are craving a different salad, I hope you’ll give this a try!

    Hey Anita, I don’t have a twitter account. How outdates is that?!! Sorry! But, I’m on fb and LinkedIn. And maybe I’ll do a twitter account soon.

    Gayathri dear, sorry for the delay. You see, my hubby’s traveling again tonight and I was way too busy. So will catch up with you this week. Hey thanks much for the thoughtful suggestion. You see, I bought the coriander just like that – tied with a rubber band (from Lulu) and I thought it was a good idea to use it as is :) As for the salad, I used a piece from the Saadia frozen chicken half breasts that comes in a tray. I hardly buy any other brand other than Saadia. My kids too like Saadia products (burger, nuggets, chicken-fingers, etc) the best.

    Luv’ n Spoonfuls, it’s a pleasure to hear from you! Thanks much for stopping by. Hope to see ya again :)

    Shabs, I too would love to eat healthy during Ramadan. But honestly, my kids can’t do without fatty foods like samoosa, pakoda, cutlet, pizza, puffs, etc for Iftar and I can’t resist them too…so, alas! And it’d be a sin not to make what they like especially since they are fasting, elle?

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  28. Wow, amazing! Your photography is spectacular. Mouth watering clicks :)

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  29. Again super nice post..as usual your photography attract me first of all, then i read the post..this is yummy..hmmm
    we are looking forward to read more yummy n easy recipes in Ramadan..
    Have a nice weekend!!

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  30. Amazing platter and mindblowing pics. I never made a salad before,but after seeing yours I cannot resist to try it out.

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  31. A beautiful salad, exquisite photography. I could enjoy this, though I would leave out the avocado (never could take to it).
    Thank You for sharing this.

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  32. I love a recipe beautiful, beautiful photos, congratulations, hugs affectionate.

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  33. the salad looks good but I loved the strawberry crumble u posted earlier- it's exotic looking-yum !

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  34. love the recipe.. Haven't used avacados in salads, just smoothies ..seeing ur snaps make me feel that I ought to try them :) ..

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  35. this is wonderful, Nash!!! Even raw meat looks so so gorgeous in ur pics! btw, this is perfect for GM diet :) And is a good reminder for me to start with it... People around me say that Im piling on the pounds with all this food blogging :P

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  36. Hi Nashi, my name is Aysha. Sorry I haven't let you know my name yet. Butterfly sounds good too ;p he heee....

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  37. This looks so summery and delicious! I go get fork!

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  38. perfect summer salad. I love a simple salad any day..can fill u and its so easy to put together.

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  39. Summer fresh salad! The picture of the bird is very tastefully taken! Liked the lighting, color, styling ~ everything! You are a talent gal!
    US Masala

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  40. Our family's version of this salad is one of our summer go-to dinners! Sometimes we add black beans and corn, sometimes cucumber, tomato, and olive, but always chicken, greens, citrus, and avocado. Your photography is beautiful!!!!

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  41. What a fantastic salad! Though it is a simple dish but you've captured them beautifully..

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  42. I just love chicken salad and this sounds so awesome! What a yummy and delicious combo!

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  43. Fantastic clicks...and awesome post following you:)

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  44. Hi Nashira, this salad looks wonderfully light and refreshing. I just discovered your lovely blog - your recipes and photos are mouthwatering!

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  45. colourful delicious looking salad looks wonderful

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  46. The heat really bad this year and that salad is indeed one of the best meal to try. Love the clicks and that avocado which you managed to cut through the seed looks lovely.

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  47. Hey nashira...New to your blog...Its really a good one...Happy to join you dear...Salad looks gorgeous...Do visit me at http://muchmorethanahomemaker.blogspot.com/
    Cheers

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  48. A splendid salad! So appetizing and beautiful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  49. I am really awestruck by your salad...specially the way you manage the avocados..splendid

    sukanya

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  50. Yum! I love this kind of healthy and flavorful dish. Your marinade for the chicken and salad dressing sounds delicious. I love that you used smoked paprika. Thanks for sharing it. Have a wonderful holiday:)

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  51. Lovely salad...looks so yum!

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  52. This salad looks absolutely delicious! Love the photo & the recipe.
    Gorgeous!!!

    xo Emily

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  53. entha adipoli clicks ente nash gal!!! awesome kto..and so does the recipe !!!! yumm!!

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  54. Looks extremely yum....simply delectable recipe....perfect for light meal too...hope u r busy with ramadan preparations....do take out time to participate in the eventgoing on in my blog on Ramadan.....

    detials can be found here....http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com

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  55. wowww.. kothiyavunu.. aa chicken piece thakarthu :0 wonderful presentation :)

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  56. Temme about it...I too love only Sadia products..Hubby has the habit of experimenting. But I always argue and mostly win that only Sadia stuff such as burgrs,nuggets,fillets,chicken rule ! Guess it has to with childhood habits..Hehe..!! Yes.. we will definitely catch up this week sweets..

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  57. Just discovered your blog today! I love your cooking style and your pictures are so vivid and bright. I'll be back for more...

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  58. Never tried avocados on salads before. I have to try that out :D

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  59. Hey all, thank you so much!

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi