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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Sweet Potato Pasta Salad, Healthy, Gluten Free, Simple. Easy, Cold
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Last weekend I turned 30 (old lady now…) so we thought we would do a beach party on Saturday to celebrate. So of course I wanted to make some nutritious and delicious food to bring. I had to think of something I could keep cold in a cooler and that would be refreshing and not too messy or complicated. Pasta salad seemed to be an easy solution…so my recipe for sweet potato pasta salad was born! I used whole grains (good carbs for sustained energy and fiber), olive oil (good fat, anti-inflammatory properties), and fresh veggies (lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). I was able to keep it in a large aluminum tray in the cooler and it did stay cool until we were ready to eat. I also made a fruit salad to bring because it is super easy to just chop up some melons, grapes and strawberries….and who doesn’t love cool, fresh fruit on a hot day? Plus…it is good for you. My pasta salad turned out really delicious fed about 16-20 people so keep that in mind when you see the large amounts of ingredients.

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Sweet Potato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

32 oz Dry Whole Grain Pasta (I used Brown Rice Pasta to make it Gluten Free)

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Head of Broccoli

4 Large Tomatoes

1- Fresh 8 oz Bag of Baby Spinach

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar

Juice from 2 Lemons

1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Sugar

Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in a very large pot.
  • While pasta is cooking, clean off sweet potatoes and poke several holes through the skin with a fork. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • Rinse broccoli and tomatoes and start chopping into pieces while sweet potatoes and pasta are cooking.
  • Remove sweet potatoes (be careful they will be very hot) and let cool.
  • Put chopped broccoli in the microwave on a microwave safe plate on high for 2 minutes…but only if you are like me and prefer your broccoli to be slightly cooked but still firm and crunchy. If you prefer it raw you can skip that step.
  • By now your pasta should be done cooking; drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking and add to your aluminum tray or serving dish.
  • Add the bag of spinach to the warm pot you just removed the pasta from and put back on burner on low heat stirring occasionally to warm and wilt spinach until it shrinks to about half.
  • Add warm spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes to pasta.
  • If your sweet potatoes are cool enough, peel off the skin and chop into bite size squares. If they still feel hot please be patient and let them cool down more… you can get burned by hot potato steam. The potatoes should peel very easily with a knife now that they are cooked.
  • Add the sweet potato pieces to the pasta mixture.
  • Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and sugar in a small bowl and pour over pasta. Mix well and add ground black pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat, can be made the day before.

 

Healthy, Sweet Potato Pasta Salad, Whole Grain, Easy,

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