OK guys! This is it, the end of February. That means we are a mere 20 days from spring! It’s amazing how January seemingly took five years to get through, but February was gone in a week.
With what will hopefully be warmer weather and plentiful sunshine on the horizon, it’s time to start making adjustments for spring.
Now is the time to start pulling spring and summer clothes out to get them cleaned up and ready for wear. It’s also time to start making adjustments to skincare routines to account for warmer weather and increased time in the sun.
It’s also time to start thinking about lighter meals that require less time in the kitchen and less time over the stove!
Erik has been working out and eating healthier lately. I tend to sit back and watch, while eating Reese’s Pieces. But I do try and help out by making healthy dinners for him when he wants something other than fish.
I’ve been working on finding recipes that are tasty variations on the old chicken and veggies. Low carbs and high protein is fairly easy to do, but it can get boring quickly, so I’m always on the look out for new takes on the old standbys.
I found this recipe for Grilled Chicken Guacamole Chopped Salad that I am looking forward to trying. Not only does it fit with a healthy eating approach, but there is something about salads and warmer weather that just seem to fit with one another.
I am going to give you the recipe as it is supposed to be made, but I’m going to change this up a little. Neither Erik nor I are tomato fans, so I am going to swap that out with red bell pepper. I am also probably going to swap out the iceberg lettuce for romaine. That’s just a personal preference.
Grilled Chicken Guacamole Chopped Salad:
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each)
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 4 firm ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
• 6 green onions
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño chile
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 5 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese (2 oz.)
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat gas or charcoal grill. Rub chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the chili powder, cumin and coriander. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F). Let stand 5 minutes; dice. (Pro-Tip: If you are short on time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chop that up instead of cooking the chicken breasts then just toss the chicken in the spices. It’s quick, easy and doesn’t cost a fortune!)
Brush avocados and green onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place avocados cut sides down on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook avocados 5 to 10 minutes, turning once, until grill marks form and avocados soften. Grill green onions 30 to 60 seconds, turning once, until grill marks form. Transfer to cutting board; let cool about 5 minutes or until cool enough to cut. Dice avocados; thinly slice green onions.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat remaining 1/3-cup olive oil, the lime juice, jalapeño, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt with whisk. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in small container. Add avocados to the medium bowl of remaining vinaigrette, and toss to coat.
On large serving platter, place lettuce. Drizzle lettuce with reserved 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Top lettuce with chicken, avocados, green onions, tomatoes and cheese, arranged in rows. Sprinkle with cilantro.
There you have it! A fresh, healthy salad to kick off almost spring!