Well, it finally happened. My baby bump took down its first victim this weekend – a cheese sign at Whole Foods.
I was grocery shopping by myself and perusing the cheese section, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted one of Ben’s favorite beers on sale nearby (Bell’s Two Hearted). Being the craft beer supporting wife that I am, I zipped over and began circling the tower of ale looking for a price tag. If it was under $10, it was totally going into the cart! A too-tight twist of the hips later and a sign advertising the price of a fancy cheddar that was nestled into the beer tower came crashing down, along with my dignity.
It took me a good 10 seconds to figure out it was my protruding belly that had caused the accident, and not some rogue child or a bird that had flown in from the parking lot which was now wreaking havoc on unstable cheese signs throughout the store. Red faced, I bent at the knees and retrieved the sign, then slapped it in place of a 6-pack and high-tailed it outta there.
Never did get any cheese…
It’s just as well because Ben and I are both still feeling rather, well, puffy, from our trip down south. Fried Alligator will do that to you. Therefore we’ve vowed to “detox” this week by eating lots of vegetables and fruit, plus I’ve got a full lineup of healthy, wholesome dinners planned for us starting with Cashew Chicken Mango Salad.
Right now Whole Foods is featuring Ataulfo mangoes, also known as champagne or yellow mangoes, in their stores, and they asked me to come up with a recipe using them in a delicious way. Mango is my very favorite fruit (tied with fresh pineapple, natch) and the timing was perfect to add it to a healthy salad, plus they’re throwing in a nice $50 gift card to one IGE reader (details below!) How could I resist?
Mango Cashew Chicken Salad combines sugary-sweet mangoes with simply seasoned-then-sauteed (or grilled – 75 and sunny today – whee!) chicken, buttery avocado, and creamy cashews in a hearty, healthy salad drizzled with homemade Honey-Lime Vinaigrette. This is totally a salad I would pay good money for at a cafe, but it’s so easy to make at home.
The combo of fresh flavors, plus a seasoned chicken breast for staying power, makes this the perfect light lunch or dinner. The only thing that’s missing is a table and chairs outside some cute cafe to enjoy it at!
Start the Cashew Chicken Mango Salad by brushing 1lb chicken breasts (about 3 small ones) with extra virgin olive oil then seasoning with salt & pepper on both sides. Saute for 4 minutes per side, or until done, or fire up the grill and give those babies a nice sizzle. Still waiting for Ben to make sure ours is good to go for the season. Sistah don’t mess around with propane tanks! Set the cooked chicken aside to cool for a bit, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
While the chicken’s doin’ its thang, turn your attention to zee mangoes. As I mentioned, I used Ataulfo mangoes which are small and sweet, and unique not only for their s-shape and honey-colored hue, but also because their pit is a lot thinner than traditional mangoes which means you get more yummy mango flesh for your buck.
Look for ataulfo mangoes that are deep golden or honey-colored vs bright yellow, and press with your thumb to determine ripeness. If they’re soft, you’re good. If they’re mushy, they’re overripe.
There are a number of different ways to cut a mango (Whole Foods highlights some of them in their latest blog post >) but my all-time favorite way is to slice the bottom off, slice the peel off with a knife, then cut the cheeks off the sides and chop.
After prepping the mangoes, pit then chop a couple avocados. I feel like avocados are exploding in popularity right now. Case in point, my parents went through 20 last week. TWENTY. To be fair they went through a bunch on Easter Sunday when the whole fam was over, but still. Right?!
Pile plates high with baby spinach, or the lettuce of your choosing, then top with the mangoes, avocados, chicken, and a sprinkling of salty cashews. Drizzle with homemade Honey-Lime Vinaigrette (ingredients in the recipe below) and enjoy!
Cashew Chicken Mango Salad
1lb chicken breasts
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
3 Ataulfo mangoes (or 2 regular mangoes,) peeled & chopped
2 avocados, peeled & chopped
1/2 cup cashews
12 cups mixed lettuce
For the Honey-Lime Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tablespoons honey
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Saute in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
- For the Honey-Lime Vinaigrette: Combine lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a food processor or bowl. Stream in olive oil while processing, or slowly add while whisking. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Divide lettuce between plates then top with cooked chicken, mangoes, avocados, and 2 Tablespoons cashews each. Drizzle with dressing and then serve.
This salad is really unbelievable – especially when you consider how easy it is to prepare.
Don’t forget the honey-lime vinaigrette, either. It’s really a showstopper!!
Whole Foods $50 Gift Card Giveaway
So that you can give those yummy ataulfo mangoes, or anything else in the store a try (cheese, anyone?) Whole Foods is giving away 1, $50 gift card to an IGE reader!
Enter to win 1, $50 gift card using the voting widget below. Click the “+1″ button then click “Enter” by 11:59pm central time on Wednesday, April 10th. Good luck!
*** PLEASE NOTE: the voting widget below may take up to a minute to load and may not work in Internet Explorer. Winners are chosen randomly via Random.org and will be contacted directly via email. ***