When Abbey & I decided to start this series, we loved the idea of incorporating her readers’ love for creating and cooking into a discussion that got even more personal and helped us talk about things near & dear to our hearts. Thus, Recipes of the Heart was birthed, and we are excited to be exploring the theme of Bravery & Courage in our inaugural month.
Earlier this month I talked about a simple summer day that taught me much about having the courage to try something new. Most of us experience varying levels of apprehension when it comes to trying something new – making a new friend, stepping into a new job, sharing our stories, trying a new hobby.
For me, one of the scariest places in the world, the place I feel least in control and most vulnerable, is my kitchen!
Up until a year ago, our family survived on a spice rack of salt, pepper and garlic and a weekly menu that rotated through seven of the simplest things I could find to prepare – jars of spaghetti sauce, fried eggs, frozen pizzas. Finally, I found the interest and the courage to take some tiny steps in the culinary world. I bought cumin and dill. I grew fresh cilantro and mint. I attempted a new dish every couple weeks, anxious each time I had to navigate my way through a new recipe.
One of the first recipes I tried in this practice of courage was a Chicken Avacado Salad. It was late Spring, so ingredients were fresh and readily available. I served it at a family dinner party and was exhilarated when people ate every bite and asked for the recipe! I have made this dish a dozen times since, tweaking the recipe each time. I want to share the recipe with you today!
4+ cups of cubed chicken (3 large chicken breasts)
2 large avocados
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 cup minced cilantro
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
Serve on sheets of romaine lettuce
1) Mix cumin, garlic powder and salt to create a rub for chicken. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and coat with rub. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until done.
2) While chicken is baking, mince 2-3 green onion stalks and a large handful of fresh cilantro. You can combine these ingredients and set aside.
3) Peel and cube 2 large avocados, coating with about 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice to prevent browning.
4) Make dressing by whisking together 4 tbsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice. I love cumin, so I often add another tsp of cumin to the dressing.
5) When chicken is done, let cool completely, then dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Because I am usually ready to serve this dish sooner than the chicken can cool, I like to bake my chicken the day before, cube and refrigerate in a cup of chicken broth until I need it the next day.
6) Mix chicken, avocados, green onions and cilantro. Toss in dressing and chill. I like this recipe best if the ingredients have 30 minutes or so to marinate together before digging in. Serve on sheets of romaine lettuce.
This is a great Gluten Free, Dairy Free recipe and is low calorie, especially if you substitute the mayonnaise for Miracle Whip. Enjoy!