April 20, 2016
More abundant and affordable as summer approaches, fresh raspberries highlight this chicken and spinach salad; topped with a cool yogurt raspberry dressing for a low calorie, low fat meal.
Delicate rosy-colored raspberries, rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, have been associated with a number of possible health benefits including: improving memory; helping manage diabetes; and reducing the risk of developing cancer and diseases of the heart and eyes.
Spinach is packed with vitamin K for bone health and brain function, flavonoids to fight cancer and inflammation, and antioxidants that are thought to prevent a number of health conditions. Add the chicken, with its much needed protein and iron, and this salad provides a complete meal.
We further reduced the fat in this recipe by poaching the chicken in broth and making our own yogurt raspberry dressing, which was simple to make and avoided added preservatives, sugar and salt usually found in bought dressings.
Preparation time: 30 to 45 minutes
- 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (total of 16 ounces)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach (about 10 to 11 oz), rinsed and dried
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained
- Croutons for garnish, optional
- Freshly grated black pepper
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 4 Tablespoons raspberry wine vinegar (white wine vinegar can be substituted)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Poach chicken breasts by pouring stock into large (12-inch) skillet. Bring stock to boil then reduce to simmer. Add the chicken breasts and bay leaf. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, turning chicken over half-way through. Turn off heat and remove chicken breasts to plate to cool. Broth can be discarded or saved for soup.
- Make the dressing by combining the yogurt, raspberry vinegar and honey. Stir well and set aside.
- Prepare the salad: Arrange 3 cups of spinach on each serving plate. (For a moister salad, toss the spinach with 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large bowl before plating.)
- Sprinkle red onion slices over the spinach.
- Slice chicken breasts about ½ inches thick and arrange (or fan) over top of spinach.
- Drizzle about 2 Tablespoons of yogurt-raspberry dressing over the chicken.
- Sprinkle each plate with ¼ cup raspberries and some croutons (6-8) if desired. (See directions below for making croutons.)
- Season with black pepper and serve.
To Make Croutons
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut crusts from bread slices (stale bread makes the best croutons) and discard crusts. Brush each bread slice with some melted butter or olive oil. Cut bread into cubes and bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Cool. Store croutons in plastic bag or covered container until ready to use.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: Use half the ingredients if serving 2 people. Also, chicken can be served warm at room temperature or cold depending on your preferences.
Per serving with 2 Tablespoons of yogurt raspberry dressing (does not include croutons): 184 calories; 1.2g total fat (0.0g saturated, 0.1g polyunsaturated, 0.0g monounsaturated); 447mg sodium; 56mg cholesterol; 12.8g carbohydrate; 4.2g fiber; 5.3g sugars; 29g protein; 505mg potassium.