Eating Clean!

Cuban Papaya Salad…. so yummy, and clean!

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The weather is so hot out here, I haven’t cooked for awhile so I needed to get back into the kitchen!  So, what could I make that was ‘home made’ but wouldn’t heat my kitchen up like crazy! (By the way, SO thankful for central a/c!)

Going through some past issues of Clean Eating magazine and came across this gem from June 2011.  I’ve made it a few times, but it’s funny how you forget how wonderful it tastes – and how easy it is – until you make it and taste it again, like it’s the first time.

Rich tastes, fresh ingredients, filling.  What could be better?  So, are you ready?  Let’s get started!

Here’s what you’re going to need:

2 TBSP slivered unsalted almonds
1 TBSP olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (5-6 oz)
pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup diced red onion (about 1 small) (divided 3/4 + 1/4)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water (use the broth! so much better!)
1 cup cooked black beans rinsed and drained – I use President’s Choice Blue Menu – yummy!)
2 packed cups fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cups diced papaya
1 lime cut into wedges, optional

Let’s start with the almonds – in a large non-stick skillet on med-high toast the almonds, not too long, just until they are fragrant. Remove them and set aside.  Add the olive oil to the skillet and cook the chicken breast (season it with salt/pepper on both sides first).  Be careful not to overcook the chicken, you don’t want it tough… just so it’s not pink anymore – so about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove it, set aside. When it’s cooled a bit, shred it using two forks, and set aside.

Add the couscous and 3/4 cup of the red onions.  Toast the couscous lightly and the onions are soft. Add the broth and cook until the liquid is all absorbed (about 4 minutes or so).  Add the black beans and cook for another minute. Add the spinach and stir in until it’s a bit wilted (1-2 minutes)  Stir the chicken into the mixture, as well as the cubed papaya and the dressing. Toss it all together with the toasted almonds and the remaining onion. Serve… while still warm and enjoy!!!   You can put the lime wedges on the top for a visual appeal.

**Dressing: mix the lime juice, cumin, red pepper flakes and honey together**

This makes about 6 cups….  it’s very filling so you can serve it between 2-3 people as a main dish, or as  delicious 1 cup sides, perhaps, for a bbq’d dinner?  For my husband and I… it’s a full meal, with enough left over for my lunch the next day!

Thank you – and acknowledgements to “Clean Eating Magazine”, and Tosca Reno for being my inspiration!

So until next time – happy noshing!

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