It's getting to be that time of year when I start to crave lighter meals for dinner. I've grown weary of winter and I've had more than my fill of soups, stews and chili, so last weekend I pulled Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite cookbook from the shelf and opened to the Healthy Working Lunch section. Ramsay's Mango, Avocado and Chicken Salad turned out to be an excellent dinner option and one which I predict will find its way into our weekly menus in the coming months. The salad is quick, easy and amazingly delicious. Next time, though, I'll go ahead and make the full 4-serving recipe so we can enjoy it for lunch the following day.
Salad (serves 4)
2 medium, firm but ripe mangoes
2 ripe avocados
squeeze of lemon juice
10 oz. - 2/3 lb. smoked chicken breasts
7 oz. mixed salad leaves
2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (optional)
2 Tbsp. orange juice (1 medium orange)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or olive oil)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the seed into thin slices. Arrange on four serving plates.
Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Peel of the skin and slice the flesh into strips. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the flesh to prevent discoloring. Arrange over the mango slices.
Shred or cut the chicken into thin slices and divide between the plates. Neatly pile the salad leaves in the middle.
For the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, season with the sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the dressing over the salad and serve, topped with a handful of toasted pine nuts.
If preparing this salad for a packed lunch, pack the dressing and salad in separate containers. Combine just before eating.
I used part of a rotisserie chicken, but grilled or roasted chicken would be just as good. I also added some shrimp, which I pan-seared in a little bit of olive oil. If you want a cold salad, prepare the chicken and shrimp ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Since I made the salad right before serving, I skipped the squeeze of lemon juice on the avocado slices. I didn't notice any browning, but this might become an issue if the salad is prepared for a packed lunch. I also added some cut-up tomato (because it's impossible for me to eat shrimp and avocado without tomatoes!), but refrained from adding any additional vegetables.
I prepared the salad dressing ahead of time, using a glass jar with a lid. Store it in the refrigerator to chill and shake well before pouring.
I didn't have avocado oil, so I used olive oil.
The toasted pine nuts are an excellent topping. I also added some homemade cornbread croutons.
If you're not sure how to cut a mango, check out this video.
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