Monday, December 26, 2011

Hearty Chicken Salad

Happy Boxing Day :)

I had a wonderful Christmas!  And I get to do it all over again tomorrow!  I had a quiet little Christmas yesterday with Mom, Dad, and my youngest sister, and tomorrow we're meeting again for a 'real' Christmas with my other sister and her new guy.  It should be fun -- more traditional for our family -- turkey, lights, drinks, and euchre.  Oh, and the puzzle!  My sis and I stared on a 1000-piece wolf-shaped puzzle last night.  We're nowhere near finished!!

After weeks of parties, treats, and Christmas-focused traditions, I thought I'd take a little break today.  I made a healthy, tasty, very non-Christmas-themed lunch salad.  It's tangy,  sweet, sour, and crunchy.  A great break!

Hearty Chicken Salad
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp plus 1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek-yogurt
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 red onion, cut into paper-thin wedges
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1 oz shelled raw unsalted pistachios
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

Directions:
In a large, shallow bowl, add chicken and 3 tbsp lemon juice.  Turn to coat.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp black pepper on all sides of chicken, dividing evenly.  Set aside.

Place a ridged grill pan on medium-high heat and mist with cooking spray.  Add chicken and grill, turning once, until cooked through, about five minutes per side.  If necessary, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.  Transfer to a cutting board and set aside until cool enough to handle, about five minutes.  Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thin slices.

Meanwhile,  prepare dressing: in a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, yogurt, oil, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss spinach, onion, pomegranate and pistachios and divide among serving plates.  Top with chicken and avocado and drizzle with dressing, dividing evenly.  Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Source: Jan/Feb 2012 Clean Eating magazine, p. 43.

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