Chicken salad is great all by itself, but when you add in avocado you make it even better. That’s because avocado is a great source of healthy fat, potassium, and fiber. It’s one of those Paleo foods that really helps move you toward your goals.
One of the best reasons for using avocado (aside from its flavor) is its texture. Here we’re blending it up so it’s going to be creamy, almost like a guacamole dressing. Only instead of the store bought dressings full of unhealthy fat and preservatives, you’re getting a freshly prepared dressing made only from fresh and healthy ingredients. Win!
You may notice that the chicken salad is pretty basic, just a salad with chicken on it, but I’ve found that with Paleo keeping it simple is an art in itself. Here we take wholesome foods like lettuce, olive oil, and oranges and make something special from it. Be sure not to skip the part where you marinate the chicken, it’s definitely worth the extra time it takes.
This is my go to lunch during the summer. It’s light and healthy and it helps me get through the longer summer days. The avocado has a cool and creamy taste to it which is really satisfying when the temperatures are at their hottest. There’s just enough sweet and sour flavor to this salad to make you want it a few times a week.
I found the most success with Paleo when I picked a few meals that I’d have again and again throughout the week rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every time hunger struck. It helped make shopping easier, and cooking became a breeze when I reduced the number of different meals and just focused on the ones I liked best. As time went on I was able to introduce new meals and recipes to the foundation I had built and now I eat a wide variety of different meals each week.
It’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle, as well as your cooking ability. If you’re getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of Paleo recipes there are, consider starting off with some basics like this chicken salad recipe. It’s ready in a jiffy which comes in handy when you start feeling hunger pangs and are tempted to eat food you know you shouldn’t be eating.
You can also use this as a light dinner, since it’s a complete meal with a protein, vegetables, and healthy fat. Great for days when you had a big lunch and aren’t really wanting another big meal before bed. It also works well for those times when you need to eat lunch on the go, just be sure to pack the avocado dressing on the side so you can pour it on right before eating.
- 2 skinless chicken fillets (5 oz each)
- 1 tsp honey
- 4 tsp orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 5-6 thyme sprigs, chopped plus extra for decoration
- ½ medium ( 150 g) cucumber, chopped
- ½ medium (60 g) red pepper, sliced
- ½ medium (60 g) yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 avocado, flesh scooped out
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 lettuce leaves, shredded
- salt, pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a shallow dish combine the orange juice, zest, honey, thyme and ¼ tsp salt. Add the chicken breast and marinate for 10 minutes. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked though, basting occasionally with pan juices.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the dressing. In a blender place the avocado flesh, lemon juice, olive oil and chili flakes and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
- In a medium bowl combine the lettuce, cucumber, red and yellow pepper. Add the avocado dressing and gently toss to combine. Divide the salad between serving plates and top with sliced chicken fillet. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and serve.