Hearty Chicken Salad with Pomegranate

Main-course salads tend to be relegated to summertime fare, but this satisfying winter supper salad is chock-full of nutrient-rich seasonal fruit and tender chicken to add flavor and filling fiber.
HeartyChickenSalad_Article2

Photo: Edward Pond

By Diane Morgan

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into paper-thin wedges
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 oz shelled raw unsalted pistachios
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large, shallow bowl, add chicken and 3 tbsp lemon juice. Turn to coat. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt, cayenne and 1/2 tsp black pepper on all sides of chicken, dividing evenly. Set aside.
  2. Place a ridged grill pan on medium-high heat and mist with cooking spray. Add chicken and grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. If necessary, work in batches to avoid overcrowding pan. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thin slices.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, yogurt, oil, remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, toss spinach, onion, pomegranate and pistachios and divide among serving plates. Top with chicken and avocado and drizzle with dressing, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.

Nutrients per serving (1 chicken breast, 1 1/2 cups salad, 1/4 avocado): Calories: 337, Total Fat: 13 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 19 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 38 g, Sodium: 433 mg, Cholesterol: 82 mg

Nutritional Bonus: The combination of spinach, avocados and pistachios make this salad a nutrient superstar, packing 51% and 46% of your daily recommended intake of vitamins B6 and C, respectively. The latter is essential for normal brain function, helping your body create chemical neurotransmitters that send signals among nerve cells.