Friday, March 25, 2011

Green Goodness

I love avocados.  I could eat them just about every day.   In fact, when I lived in Texas, I very nearly did.  They were a tasty part of any meal.  The avocado tree is native to Mexico and while they are easily trucked into Texas, they are also cultivated there, too.  So, the fruit was pretty widely available to me and pretty cheap, as well.  Not so much here in Washington, DC.

I saw some Dominican avocados in the store today, and they looked a bit worse for wear from their long journey...

We start to see domestic avocados here in the Spring.  And I am anxiously awaiting their arrival...

Salad with Grilled Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado
Makes 4 servings

For Salad:
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 slices bacon
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large avocado, or 2 small avocados
2 to 3 green onions
1 bell pepper (any color)
10 oz salad greens (variety is your preference)

First, you need to marinate the chicken.  I always use gallon-sized zip-top bags for my marinades, but a large bowl covered with plastic wrap will work, too.  Combine chicken, garlic, salt and pepper, lime juice, and olive oil in plastic zip-top bag.

After sealing, use hands to distribute liquids and spices over chicken.  Keep in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Heat grill to medium high.  Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.   Grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side.

Remove from grill and let rest a few minutes.  Slice into strips and set aside.

You have some options for cooking the bacon...You can pull out your cast-iron skillet and cook the bacon over medium heat for 20 or 30 minutes or until crisp.  Or, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and line a broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer and bake them for about 15 minutes or until crisp.

Cool and drain on paper towels.

Dice tomatoes, avocados, green onions, and bell pepper.

I like to prepare one large salad, but you may want to plate individual salads for each of your dinner guests.

In large serving bowl, add salad greens.  Toss with diced vegetables.

Crumble cooked and cooled bacon on top.

Add sliced grilled chicken.

Serve with dressing.

For Dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk until well blended, or pour all ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake until emulsified.

Avocados are not just delicious - they are also beneficial to your health.
  1. Healthy Eyes - Avocados have more carotenoid lutein than any other fruit.  This antioxident protects against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  2. Lower Cholesterol - Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance that has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  
  3. Lower Blood Pressure - Avocados are a great source of potassium, which contributes to lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.  Avocados contain even more potassium than bananas!  
  4. Great Source of Vitamin E - Avocados are the greatest fruit source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.
  5. Skin Moisturizer - Avocado butter and oil, two deep-conditioning emollients, will soften skin, eliminate dry patches, and restore your skin's elasticity.  High in vitamins A, C, and E, avocado oil conditions skin without leaving behind an oily residue.

    1 comment:

    1. This salad looks epic! I love avocado!
      Hey, thanks for the add on FoodBuzz! Love meeting other bloggers!