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Continuing the island theme from key lime pie, a juicy marinated chicken breast topped with fresh, colorful salsa now on the menu.  With daylight lasting longer, a great opportunity to fire up your grill for a quick entree.  Whether you’re on spring break or not, you can escape to the islands tonight for dinner. 

Fresh ingredients, and herbs, are a healthy cook’s best friends. The basil is unassuming, but a great addition, complimenting and enhancing the natural sweetness of the citrus flavors.  With the leftover salsa feel free to grab your blue corn chips and start dipping alongside your chicken.  Double Yum! 

I’ve already eaten it twice this week and my mouth is still watering.

serves 4

  • 1 lb CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS (4 oz. each)
  • 1 LIME, JUICED
  • 1 LEMON, JUICED
  • 2 GARLIC CLOVES, sliced
  • 3 tbsp HONEY, PURE
  • 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 1 tsp PAPRIKA, GROUND
  • 1/4 tsp NUTMEG, GROUND
  • 1 tsp THYME, DRIED
  • 1/8 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER, GROUND, (more or less to taste)
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
SALSA:
  • 1 cup PINEAPPLE, diced
  • 12 oz CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 1 JALAPENO PEPPER, diced
  • 1 cup RED ONION, chopped (about 1/2 large)
  • 1 MANGO, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 ORANGE, peeled with knife, segmented and juiced
  • 1 LARGE AVOCADO, chopped
  • 1 clove GARLIC, minced
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 1 LIME, JUICED
  • 1 tbsp RED WINE VINEGAR
  • 1/4 cup BASIL LEAVES, FRESH, snipped or chiffonade

1. For marinade: Place chicken and next 10 marinade ingredients in a zip top bag; refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turn half way through to coat.

Note: acid base marinades are quick because they break down proteins in the meat to tenderize and inject flavor fast.

2. Make the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Can make ahead and refrigerate up to 1 hour (toss in basil before serving).

3. Grill or saute chicken breasts on an oiled grill, or large skillet sprayed generously with cooking spray, until cooked through; about 6-8 minutes per side depending on chicken thickness. Add extra honey and/or paprika, cayenne at end of grilling for sweeter or spicier chicken.

4. Top each cooked chicken breast with about 1/2 cup salsa and serve (will have leftover salsa). Side options below.

Whipped Cumin-Honey Sweet Potatoes: Mash 2 large, cooked sweet potatoes with cumin, honey and pinch of cinnamon to taste. Whip with and electric mixer and a little milk to thin, if desired.

Coconut-Almond Rice: Cook rice according to package directions using 1/2 light coconut milk and 1/2 water for required liquid. Toss toasted, sliced almonds and shredded coconut with cooked rice.

VARIATIONS: Add cooked and cooled corn, black beans, or fresh chopped cilantro for basil in salsa. Citrus salsa great on grilled fish too.

Just calling your name, isn’t it ‘mon?

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 325 cal, 8g fat, 39g carb, 6g fiber, 22g sugar, 26g protein

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