Monday, October 1, 2012

Balsamic Avocado Walnut Crusted Chicken

Avocados are my absolute favorite food.  In fact I try to incorporate avocados into meals whenever possible.  I am certain the creamy consistency is what keeps me coming for more.  Unfortunately avocados are one of those "good fats".  I know "good fat" sounds like an oxymoron, but they have many heart healthy benefits (like lowering cholesterol).  The "fat" part does not take away the fact that they are still loaded with calories and should be eaten in moderation. With the whole "good fat" concept in mind I try to limit the amount of avocado I eat per meal (although it is not always easy).

This recipe bombards you with "good fats".  Not only do the avocados contain healthier fats, but you get an added bonus of more "good fats" through the walnut and flaxseed (used for the breading of the chicken).  I like to replace the traditional bread crumbs with the the walnut/flaxseed mixture for the added nutritional value through omega-3's (good fats) and fiber.  Just like with the avocado moderation is key.

This recipe is topped off with balsamic vinegar to add a tart, yet sweet flavor. Balsamic vinegar is an excellent substitution for higher calorie marinades and dressings and contains antioxidants.   One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar usually provides about 10 to 20 calories, whereas most dressings contain greater than 100 calories.  I personally find the bold flavor an excellent compliment to chicken recipes. When eating a salad containing chicken I always use balsamic vinegar as the salad dressing.

How can you pass on a recipe loaded with numerous healthy ingredients?!

2- 3 oz chicken breast,pounded thin
1/2 avocado, sliced into 6 thin slices
1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnuts, crushed
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
arugula leaves
2 egg whites
Non-stick cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

1.     Mix walnuts and flaxseed together; spread on wax paper
2.     Beat egg whites
3.     Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray; heat to medium
4.     Salt and pepper chicken breast; dip in egg mixture, cover both sides with walnut/flaxseed mixture
5.     Place in skillet; cook for about 10 minutes or until browned; flip and cook about 5-10 minutes or until chicken cooked through
6.     Remove from skillet; place each chicken breast on plate
7.     Cover with a few arugula leaves; place 3 avocado slices on top; drizzle with balsamic vinegar  (repeat for other breast)

Serving size: 1 chicken breast • Servings: 2 • Calories: 295.2 kcal • Protein: 28.7 g  •  Sodium: 118.9* g • Carbs: 10.0 g • Fat: 17.1 g • Fiber: 7.5 g • Sugar: 0.4 g

*Does not include salt to taste

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