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Dragon Fruit Salad with Lemony Chicken & Butternut Purée

I would consider this a fancier recipe – because y’all know I’m more of a casserole or bowl kinda gal. I need simple and fast most days. But sometimes something comes up and it’s worth the extra work. Maybe you need a different anniversary dinner, or you’re celebrating a big milestone or just need something to dig yourself out of that repetitive dinner rut. Happens to me all the time.

Ever tried dragonfruit? It’s a tropical fruit packed with vitamin C and iron and is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflamatory because of it contains betacyanins. They can be red or white on the inside and have small black seeds.

INGREDIENTS

PURÉE
1/2 small butternut squash, diced
5 carrots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup organic unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

CHICKEN
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp olive oil
2½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt

SALAD
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp raw honey
1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
1 dragon fruit (white or pink), peeled and diced
2¼ packed cups frisée, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 oz) or mixed greens
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted unsalted almonds
1 shallot, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place a rack in the top third of oven; preheat to 400°F.
2. Prepare purée: Fit a steamer basket in a large pot with water to ½ inch below basket. Place squash and carrots in basket, cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and steam for 20 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a blender along with remaining purée ingredients; blend until smooth. Cover to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, prepare chicken: Coat chicken with oil; season with thyme, lemon zest, pepper and salt. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered. Cut into ½-inch strips.
4. Prepare salad: In a medium bowl, whiskoil, vinegar, ginger, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Add remaining salad ingredients; gently toss. Serve with the purée and sliced chicken.

Thanks, Clean Eating Mag, for this recipe!

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