I get it. Eating healthy can seem like a bummer sometimes. Fitness, a healthy lifestyle, and eating well are huge priorities in my household, but so are enjoying food, savoring home-cooked meals, eating together as a family and indulging in yummy treats sometimes! I will never be one of those people who eats clean 100 percent of the time, but let’s face it–the older we get, the more important it is make smart choices with what we eat. (Hello, slower metabolism!) This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge once in a while, but preparing whole, unprocessed food yourself at home most of the time is the best way to ensure a healthy diet and make those occasional treats more permissible when they happen.
So, does this mean that having a boring salad for lunch every day is the only way to eat clean? Well, yes, and no! But, wait! I’m here to break the salad stereotype! If I am sitting down to a bowl of plain lettuce, tomato and cucumber as my meal, I’m not going to be super enthused either. But here’s the thing–salad has come a long, long way! And there are so many new ways to define what a salad is these days. This is good news. A salad need not be a bunch of lettuce and passé toppings in a bowl anymore. As we learn more about healthful eating and the benefits of different types of fiber and nutrients, the salad spectrum gets bigger, wider, more colorful, flavorful, international, vibrant, texture-filled, dynamic, and hence–much more delicious!
For me, a good salad must be comprehensive and satisfying with plenty of fiber, texture, protein and color. And I always need to fire up my BBQ to convert vegetables and meats into even more tasty grilled salad components. This chicken summer salad is my absolute favorite, and it meets all of my exciting salad must-haves. Creamy avocado provides healthy fat, grilled corn, red onion and tomatoes provide texture, fiber, color, and the deliciously simple marinated grilled chicken is so sizzling and yummy, you’ll completely forget you’re eating a “boring salad”! Best of all, every single element of this salad is clean, unprocessed, and whole “real” food. Try it and you’ll be convinced that wholesome eating never has to feel like punishment!
Sensational Grilled Chicken Summer Salad
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 ears of corn
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups romaine or green leaf lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
1) Preheat grill.
2) Combine lime juice, honey, ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper together, whisking until emulsified. Pour about two tablespoons of this mixture on top of chicken breasts. Set the rest of dressing aside.
3) Add oregano and hot sauce to chicken, and turn chicken so that all sides are coated. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, if possible.
4) While chicken is marinating, lightly drizzle a touch of olive oil on ears of corn or spray them lightly with cooking spray. Place corn on grill and cook the corn, occasionally turning on all sides until lightly charred and darkened in a few spots. Remove and let cool. Holding each ear of corn perpendicular to the cutting board, trim off corn from the ear with a knife. Set aside.
5) Place chicken onto grill and cook until done with prominent grill marks on each side. Remove from grill, cool slightly and slice into strips.
6) Place avocado, corn, tomato and onion in a bowl. Add the reserved dressing from Step 2 and gently stir to combine.
7) To assemble salad, place lettuce on top of plates or serving platters. Top with avocado/dressing mixture and sliced chicken.