Avocado Chicken Salad
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I used to never be a fan of chicken salad. I actually thought it was straight gross…It just always looked so heavy and mayonaisse-y to me and I could just imagine someone mass producing it in giant vats in some sort of gross cafeteria like kitchen, just chucking whatever random ingredients in. I guess my imagination just turned me off to the whole idea of chicken salad…so I disliked it before I even took a bite (not fair…I know). But I constantly see chicken salad sandwiches on instagram feeds and pinterest, people talking about how its so easy to make and how it can be both delicious and healthy. And healthy, easy, great tasting food is what I am into…so I thought I would give my own spin on it. I used  my favorite healthy seasonal ingredients, and my Avocado Chicken Salad was born! For a non-chicken salad lover I was pretty pleased.

Avocado Chicken Salad
Before I go  into my Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe, I just wanted to share with you a few great nutrition facts about avocado.

1/3 of 1 Hass Avocado contains:
  • 250mg of potassium and 0g of sodium (great for blood pressure)
  • 3 g of dietary fiber (good for feeling full moving those bowels)
  • 5g of monounsaturated fat and 1 g of polyunsaturated fat (heart healthy fats!)
  • 45mcg of folate (good for pregnant women or those planning on getting pregnant)
Additionally, when eaten with tomato sauce or raw carrots, avocados have been shown to significantly enhance the absorption of provitamin a compounds that are present in tomatoes and carrots and convert these compounds to the active form of vitamin a. (Kopec, RE. J Nutr, 2014)

In another small study, it was shown that adding 1/2 of a medium fresh hass avocado to a burger (90% lean) may curb the productions of an inflammatory marker that rises when eating a burger without avocado. (Li, Z. Food and Function, 2012)

Bottom line – Avocados are a delicious heart healthy ingredient that can help you feel full and may have more impact than just simply providing you with essential vitamins and minerals.

And now for my Avocado Chicken Salad recipe. Basically you just take all the ingredients and mix them up in a bowl. The avocado along with the greek yogurt provides the creaminess of chicken salad without the use of mayonnaise. They also add an extra boost of nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. The celery adds some crunch, the mango adds some sweetness (and a few more nutrients 🙂 ), and other than the chicken, everything else is just added for flavor. Feel free to omit or add your favorite spices to make it your own. Oh and this would be a great recipe to use up any leftover chicken from dinner the night before. I love taking leftovers and turning them into a completely new meal. I hope you enjoy! If you try this recipe or any of my other recipes take a picture and post on instagram and/or facebook and tag me @delishnnutrish so I can see!

Avocado Chicken Salad

Ingredients
1 Hass Avocado
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken
1/2 Cup Diced Celery
1 Small Mango – Chopped

Directions
Mash up the avocado flesh and mix with lime juice and greek yogurt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in salt, cilantro, paprika, onion powder, and pepper. Add chicken, celery and mango to avocado mixture and stir until coated well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on a bed of lettuce or make into a sandwich with your favorite whole grain bread.
Avocado Chicken Salad
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Easy vegetarian and gluten free Mediterranean Quinoa Bake
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When I’m short on time or I’m running low on fresh vegetables, I like to combine fresh veggies with canned ones for a quick and easy meal that still helps me meet my nutritional needs. When buying canned ingredients, I compare different brands and choose the one that is lowest in sodium, preferably no salt added, if possible. I also drain and rinse my canned beans and veggies that do have salt added to help further decrease the sodium level. If you like to use a lot of canned ingredients I would suggest investing in a little mini colander so you can easily rinse off your canned beans and veggies without having to use your bigger one. That way you can save precious dishwasher space and you may be more likely to actually take the time to rinse them off 🙂

If you are in need of a little colander I think this one looks pretty darn cute:

Tablecraft HC1 0.75 quart Mini Colander  *

*Amazon affiliate link – if you click on purchase through this link I may receive a percentage of the sale to help run my website at no cost to you

 Easy, vegetarian, and gluten free Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

This week was pretty busy so I wanted to make a really easy, healthy and delicious meal that would be able to feed both me and my husband for two nights. Throwing veggies, beans, and whole grains into a pan and baking it seemed like a really good way to accomplish my goal. I also wanted to do a vegetarian dish because 1) I love vegetarian dishes, 2) Adding meat seemed like an unnecessary extra step, and 3) My friend Stephanie is a vegetarian who loves casseroles/bakes and is always looking for healthy recipes…so this recipe was partly for her. I chose to use mediterranean flavors in this recipe because I love them… annnnd I also happened to have a can of artichokes in my pantry I wanted to use. So if you like easy healthy recipes, veggies, chickpeas, and quinoa, this recipe is just for you.

 Easy, vegetarian, and gluten free Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

 Ingredients 

1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
1 Can (16 oz) Reduced Sodium Chickpeas- Drained and Rinsed
1 Can (14 oz) Quartered Artichoke Hearts- Drained and Rinsed
1 Can (12 oz) Roasted Red Peppers- Drained and Rinsed
3 Cups Raw Baby Spinach
4 Plum Tomatoes – Sliced
1 Cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

 
 
Directions
Cook quinoa according to package directions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. While quinoa is cooking, add remaining ingredients except for feta cheese and balsamic vinegar to a large mixing bowl. Toss ingredients together mixing well. After quinoa is done cooking, spread quinoa evenly in a 9×13 inch glass baking pan. Top with veggie mixture. Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until veggies are warm and soft. Remove from oven, sprinkle feta cheese and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top of casserole. Place back in oven for about 5 more minutes until cheese is warm and slightly soft. Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!
 
 
 Easy, vegetarian, and gluten free Mediterranean Quinoa Bake
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Sweet potatoes are a great fall favorite. Delicious and full of Vitamin A they can be used in many different ways. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it is stored in fat in your body. Adding a little good fat (not too much, or you can end up adding a lot of extra calories) such as olive oil to your sweet potatoes will help your body to better absorb the Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes also have a lot of potassium which can be helpful with controlling blood pressure.

I have been wanting to try and make a frittata since this summer when I first attempted to make one. It was a zucchini and yellow squash frittata that got overcooked and I ended up having to scrape off the bottom layer because it was all burnt. Apparently it was still decent though because my husband managed to eat it…. Although he may have just eaten it so I wouldn’t feel bad that I ruined dinner. This time I wanted to try using fall flavors so I got sweet potatoes, a bunch of kale, onions and goat cheese to give it a more hearty autumn feel. I was more careful with the cooking time and it turned out perfectly cooked.

A Healthy and Delicious Fritatta

Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata

Ingredients
4 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/3 Cup Diced Raw Red Onion
1 Cup Cooked and Diced Sweet Potatoes*
3 Cups Raw Kale

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix eggs, milk and cheese together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in rosemary and salt, set aside. Add olive oil to an 8 inch skillet on medium heat.  Add garlic and onions and sauté until almost translucent. Turn down to med low. Add kale and stir to ensure kale cooks down evenly. After kale shrinks and becomes wilted, add in sweet potatoes and distribute evenly. Pour egg mixture into pan with veggies and stir until uniform. Remove pan from heat and bake in oven on 400 degrees for 20 min or until edges appear slightly browned and frittata is firm.

*I just popped a sweet potato in the microwave for a few min after poking some holes in it and then chopped it up after it cooled down

 

Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata

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