The heat of summer can sometimes make us feel less hungry, and may make us less inclined to get into the kitchen. During especially hot days, even turning on the oven can drive your home’s temperature even higher. It’s truly a season for simplicity — for example, a dressed-up fancy salad that delivers lots of flavor for relatively little effort.
Including servings of vegetables, fruit, and meat, this salad stands alone as a complete meal. Low in calories, it offers protein from the chicken, dietary fiber from the produce, and a dose of healthier fat from the creamy avocado. Topped with a tangy homemade dressing, this colorful dish promises a bounty of texture and tropical flavor for a sizzling summer day.
Tropically Bright Summer Salad
Total time: Less than 1 hour | Servings: 8
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup chili garlic sauce
4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 medium mangos, cubed
2 avocados, cubed
10-ounce package spring mix lettuce
- Preheat a small saucepan to medium-high. Stir together the brown sugar and water, bringing the mixture to a boil. Immediately turn off the burner and pour the mixture into a medium heat-safe bowl (e.g. metal).
- Stir the garlic chili sauce and lime juice into the dressing mixture, and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, mango, and avocado.
- When ready to serve, place a serving of spring mix in a salad bowl, then top with a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture. Pour a portion of dressing over the top and enjoy!
Nutrition facts (per serving)
Calories: 300; Fat: 17 g; Cholesterol: 55 mg; Sodium: 500 mg; Carbohydrates: 20 g; Dietary fiber: 5 g; Protein: 19 g.
- Mango and avocado can be tricky to work with because of their unusual insides (each one has a single large seed or pit). However, both can be cut open and easily diced within the peel. See these instructions for cutting mango and these for slicing avocado.
- Chili garlic sauce is a common East Asian condiment. Look for it in a jar or bottle in the international aisle of the grocery store. The sauce is usually bright red in color and has a spicy kick.
- If you don’t care for spicy flavors, you can substitute with a different homemade or store-bought dressing. Try a variety with citrus flavor (like lime) to counter the sweetness of the mango. A sweet vinaigrette instead of a cream-based dressing will let the ingredients stand out and keep the salad summer-light. Remember that any change to the original recipe can alter the nutrition information.
- For freshness, assemble the parts of the salad just before serving. Store leftovers chilled, keeping the spring mix, chicken mixture, and dressing separate.