Recipe: Mexican chicken and avocado salad

Recipe: Mexican chicken and avocado salad

A fully loaded and flavoursome chicken and avocado salad with a Mexican twist. This mouthwatering dish is perfect for a quick lunch or a light evening meal. It's packed full of protein and heart healthy fats which will help you feel fuller for longer. The colourful combination of vegetables provides plenty of fibre, and vitamins and minerals too.

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 small chicken breast
  • ½ tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of ½ a lime

For the salad

  • 50g mixed salad leaves
  • 1 small avocado, diced into 2cm chunks
  • 7 cherry tomatoes, chopped finely
  • ¼ red onion, chopped finely
  • A sprinkle of fresh coriander

Method

Per serving (serves one) = 460 kcal 

  1. Place the lime juice, oil, garlic and a sprinkle of pepper into a jug and mix well. Set the dressing aside.
  2. Score lines across the chicken breast and season with cumin, chilli powder, oregano and paprika. Spoon over half of the lime dressing and leave to marinate for approximately 30 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the salad leaves in a serving bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the diced avocado, red onion and tomatoes. Set aside.
  4. After marinating the chicken, heat a griddle pan over the hob on a medium heat. Add the chicken and any remaining marinade and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Once cooked, assemble the salad – starting with the salad leaves, adding the avocado mixture and then topping with the sliced marinated chicken.
  6. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and top with fresh coriander. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional information

Avocado

A common belief held by people with type 2 diabetes is that they need to avoid avocado due to its high calorie content (about 320 calories in an average sized avocado). Whilst calorie control is important if weight loss or maintenance is your aim, avocados are a great source of ‘healthy’ monounsaturated fats so should not be avoided. Comprehensive guidelines for the management of diabetes through diet recommend that saturated fat intake should be limited and replaced with unsaturated fats (predominantly monounsaturated fats). This is important to reduce your risk of high blood pressure and high blood lipids and cholesterol levels (hyperlipidaemia), which can further increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease

Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein source that can help the building and repairing processes in the body. Chicken naturally is low in fat – this means that it also contains less calories than other meat sources.

Seasoning

The population (if you have diabetes or not) should be eating less than 6g salt per day. Cooking from scratch can make this easier to achieve as you have full control of what goes into the food. The dried herbs and spices used in this dish are very low in calories and can replace the higher in salt ready-made sauces or marinades. This can help to reduce overall salt intake which can help towards reducing your blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart disease.

Salad

This colourful combination provided three portions of vegetables and so helps towards ‘eating a rainbow’ and achieving the ‘5-a-day’ fruit and vegetable recommendations. Remember, vegetables are so low in calories they can be eaten in unlimited amounts. Salad is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and low in fat and calories- therefore is a great base for any dish. 

Oil

Choosing unsaturated oils such as rapeseed oil is much better for your heart than choosing saturated fats such as butter, lard, coconut oil to cook with. All fats are very calorific though, so portion control is key when  cooking. Combining the oil with liquid from natural juices helps to reduce the amount required for cooking and thus less calories. Making simple calorie-saving swaps can help towards achieving the 5-10% weight loss recommended for people with diabetes who sit within the overweight or obese category when calculating your body mass index (BMI)Weight reduction in this way can lead to better blood glucose control and reduced cardiovascular risk factors.

Check out the article Type 2 diabetes diet for more information about healthy eating with type 2 diabetes.

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