Avocado Chicken Salad

avocado chicken salad

A light and mayonnaise-free chicken salad! Use avocado instead of mayonnaise for a healthier more nutritious lunch!

Lunch is always hard for me to figure out what to eat. A salad is always a good option but sometimes I want something different like a sandwich. I usually try to stay away from condiments like mayonnaise but sometimes if used moderately it is fine. Avocados are a great option if you simply do not like mayo or you want something that is healthier. Avocados are considered a healthy fat unlike mayonnaise.

Avocado chicken salad can be made anyway you like it! Add in your favorite chopped vegetables like bell pepper, celery, carrots, whatever you like! In this recipe I used chopped bell peppers because that is what I had on hand. Or keep it simple with just shredded chicken and avocado.

The avocado makes the chicken salad creamy and really delicious without and extra ingredients. You will be surprised at how filling and tasty this dish is. If you are making just for your self just use less chicken and less avocado to adjust serving size.

Avocado Chicken Salad (mayo free!!)

What you need:

  • about 4 cooked chicken cutlets shredded or chopped (you could also use rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of red and yellow chopped bell pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of half a lemon

What to do

avocado chicken salad

Mash avocado until creamy and squeeze half juice of lemon. Take chopped chicken and put into avocado mixture. Use a salad chopper or fork and mash until well combined. Stir in bell peppers and season well with salt and pepper. Serve with whole wheat bread on a Sandwich or even in a salad for extra protein.

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Arugula Salad With Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Dressing

Arugula with Pear, Goat Cheese, Grilled Chicken and a Balsamic Dressing.

goat cheese, chicken, croutons
Arugula with Goat Cheese, Chicken Cutlet, Pear, and Croutons

I love the combination of flavors that this recipe offers. The peppery arugula is a great combination with the tangy goat cheese and home made croutons to soak up all the delicious flavors.

I have had salads similar to this in restaurants and I remember loving them. I never thought if I tried to make it that it would come out as tasty as it did. This recipe is perfect, and a great salad for lunch or dinner in the Fall. The grilled balsamic chicken is tasty and also a good source of protein and very filling.

For this recipe I made home made herbed croutons as well as balsamic chicken. If you have croutons and grilled chicken already that you like just add it in this recipe and it will be even easier!

This is a must try for yourself, a party, or your family.

Here’s What You Need:

  • a package of baby arugula
  • 1 pound of chicken cutlet marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
  • 1  Red Bartlett Pear (or pear of your choice) cut into then pieces
  • crumbled goat cheese to taste
  • handful of your favorite croutons – see my herbed croutons for a home made version below*
  • balsamic dressing to taste (I made my own) – 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, sprinkle of pepper, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

What to do:

  1. If you are going to make your own croutons see my herbed crouton recipe below*. If not start by preparing chicken cutlets and marinating in ingredients listed above. While chicken is marinating turn grill on and let preheat.
    DSCN0748
    When grill is hot put chicken on cooking until no longer pink and move to a plate. Chop into small pieces (If you want to use left over grilled chicken skip this step)
  2. While chicken is cooking make your salad dress in the bottom of a big bowl that you will put your salad in. Combine oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and dijon mustard. Whisk until combined. Taste with a piece of salad to adjust seasoning.
  3. Once dressing is ready put washed baby arugula in bowl on top of dressing. Next put the sliced pears, handful of your favorite crouton, chopped balsamic chicken, and goat cheese in the bowl. Toss until well mixed. Adjust seasoning and enjoy this delicious salad.
    Arugula Salad

To Make Herbed Croutons for this Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut day old bread into small even pieces and put into a mixing bowl. Chop 2 tablespoons of rosemary, parsley, basil, and thyme. Combine with cut crouton pieces and sprinkle with olive oil until coated. Don’t forget the sea salt and pepper!
    herbed croutons
  2. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned, watch in oven mixing half way through.
    herbed croutons
  3. Enjoy in your salad. Store in ziplock bag for another day!

Caprese Salad

caprese salad

Caprese Salad with fresh sliced mozzarella, yellow, red, and green heirloom tomatoes. It’s tomato season so I need to find some way to use all these gorgeous tomatoes. You may have seen an earlier post that is similar to this but a different preparation – my Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad.

In this recipe the tomatoes are different (heirloom as opposed to little orange tomatoes)and the tomatoes are presented as a traditional Caprese Salad.

If you haven’t taken advantage of all the amazing tomatoes that you can find at the farmers market, super market, and in your own garden then now is the time before it’s too late!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 heirloom tomatoes – i used red, yellow, and green
  • basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and coarse black pepper
  • fresh mozzarella ball

What to do:

  1. Prepare tomatoes by slicing heirloom tomatoes to preferred thickness. Also slice mozzarella cheese.
  2. Lay tomatoes on a serving tray and sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes.
  3. Next lay mozzarella slices over the tomatoes followed by torn basil. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and drizzle more olive oil over the top.

That’s it! This is a perfect appetizer for a party or serve as a side to your dinner and enjoy the freshness of summer!

Healthy Turkey Meatballs

Baked Turkey Meatballs

baked turkey meatballs

These healthy turkey meatballs are baked, easy to make, and create very little mess! This is a great go to recipe for during the week or to make ahead for dinner one night. Turkey meatballs can be made with almost anything and are very versatile. Serve these with salad, quinoa, vegetables, pasta, or in a soup.

Substituting ground turkey for ground beef in your meals is a great way to reduce saturated fats and lower your cholesterol in meals. Lean ground turkey is low in calories and high in protein which makes it a great choice when trying to eat healthy. If you have tried ground turkey but find it boring and dry be sure to add different spices and vegetables to the meat to give it flavor.

In this recipe I used grated carrot to add moisture, italian seasoning, as well as bread crumbs as a binding. This recipe did not lack flavor the and the baked turkey meatballs were delicious! Baked turkey meatballs are really easy and make a lot of mini meatballs which is great because that means leftovers of lunch the next day.

You will need

  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 of grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • a pinch of salt and pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan 

The recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine grated carrot, egg, breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, garlic, grated parmesan, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

    baked turkey meatball filling
    baked turkey meatball filling
  3. Add 1 pound of ground turkey and mix with your CLEAN hands to evenly mix the breadcrumb mixture throughout.
  4. Form balls with a tablespoon and put on baking sheet that is sprayed with non stick spray.
    baked turkey meatballs
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Serve with green salad or as a side to vegetables.

I made this recipe to have during the week when I needed a quick dinner. I served with quinoa, broccoli and red bell peppers. This was a perfect “dinner box” and I just ate during the week when I did not have time to cook. 

turkey meatball dinner

I found this recipe here. Thanks for sharing, I loved them!

 

 

Easy Corn Salad

Corn Salad with Yellow Tomato, Sugar Snap Peas, and Basil:

easycornsaladThis salad was so fresh and reminds me why I love summer. You can use whatever is fresh from the farm stand or from your own personal garden. For this salad I used corn that is from a local farm stand and also grown locally. The yellow tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and basil are from my own personal garden.

sugarsnappeasWe made this corn salad after coming home from the beach and wanting something quick, healthy, and light.

Corn is so popular in the summer because it is very inexpensive and of course easy to make. Everyone loves a good corn on the cob however one of my favorite ways to eat it is off the cob. Cutting the corn off the cob is a great way to add healthy carbohydrates to your salads and summer meals.

If you are trying to loose weight you may think to stay away from corn. However, this is not always the case. A small serving of fresh corn is a great way to satisfy your hunger and feed your body healthy carbohydrates. Especially if you were active that day.

Corn is a low-fat complex carbohydrate and is high in fiber and also surprisingly a good source of several vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin C.  This is why I love to eat fresh locally grown corn in the summer, and why you should too!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 4 corns in the husk (don’t be one of those people who peel at the super market – it actually dries out your corn)
  • handful of tomatoes (whatever color you have) I had a few yellow tomatoes growing so I picked them
  • small handful sugar snap peas or other green pea
  • 5 leaves of basil
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Recipe:

  1. Start by cooking corn in the husk on the grill at 400 degrees until husk is brown and corn is yellow about 20 minutes.
  2. While corn is cooking prepare your vegetables. Cut your tomatoes in half, snap peas in half, and chop your basil.
    easycornsalad
  3. Mix 1/3 cup of olive oil and juice of a lemon with vegetables add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When corn is ready remove husk and let cool. Once cool cut corn off the cob and put with the other vegetables repeat with 4 cobs.
  5. Stir all the vegetables together and your done!
    easycorsnsalad

Summer Couscous Salad

 

couscoussaladI love it when I find new salads or new summer side dishes besides the typical potato salad. This summer cous cous salad can be made in advance and sit in the fridge for the day or eaten right away. Filled with fresh grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, and mint.

Fresh is best in the summer. That’s why I love to make cold salads that are perfect for a warm day. This heat in NY is really killing me. I don’t even want to turn on the oven because it heats up our whole apartment. The only cooking in this recipe is making the pearl couscous on the stove. I can deal with that for all the flavor that this salad has.

If your garden or farmers market is filled with local vegetables this is a great recipe to use for fresh farm stand ingredients. My vegetable garden is still growing and not quite ready to pick. But when it is I will defintiely make this again.

choppedvegetablesThis is a perfect thing to bring to an outside summer BBQ, serve your family, and girlfriends, even boyfriend approved. Plus the box of pearl couscous makes a lot, so perfect leftovers.

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The Recipe:

Serves 6

You will need:

  • 1 box of pearl couscous or whatever couscous you like
  • half a cucumber peeled , seeded, and chopped small
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • half a red pepper chopped small
  • about 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • juice of a lemon
  • chopped parley
  • chopped mint
  • salt and pepper

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by preparing israli or pearl couscous by preparing according to directions. Watch as it comes close to end to make sure it does not get over cooked. Strain and rinse it with cold water until the couscous becomes room tempeture. May need to use mesh strainer.
  2. Perpare your vegetables: peel and seed half of the cucumber then chop small, chop half of the red bell pepper, and halve the tomatoes.
    choppedvegetables
  3. Make the dressing to go on the salad by pouring 1/2 cup of olive into a bowl with the juice of a lemon, salt, and pepper. Whisk together
  4. Combine chopped vegetables with vinaigrette in a big mixing bowl and add the room temperature couscous.
  5. Stir. Fold in the fresh parsley and mint. If preparing a head of time mix in the herbs right before serving so they stay fresh.

Enjoy on a warm day as a side dish at a BBQ or for lunch the next day.

This recipe was inspired from Bon Appetit.