I went through a vegetarian (and then vegan) stage. It started out as a health concern but I later learned that wheat and dairy were the foods causing my digestion issues, not meat. However, when I introduced meat back into my diet, it was pretty difficult because I had become more educated on the treatment and welfare of animals raised for consumption. As a result, I only bought meat from Whole Foods or local farmers, which helped me feel a bit better about eating meat.
I recently learned about NatureRaised Farms®, a brand that is committed to “Doing What’s Right, Right from the Start.” NatureRaised Farms® brand chickens are never fed antibiotics ever and are fed a 100% vegetarian diet (no animal protein and no bakery by-products). And, even more importantly to me, they bring in independent third-party agencies to certify the welfare of the animals. They partner with family-owned farm to supply their chicken, and all the chickens are raised cage-free. They also partner with multiple animal humane societies to ensure the ethical treatment of their animals. So when I can find this brand, I trust it and it makes me feel better about the food choices I make.
And my favorite chicken recipe of late? This one: Blackened Chicken over Kale Avocado Cilantro Salad. It’s super simple and healthy – and you can easily double or triple it if you’re meeting more than two! Enjoy!
- 1.5 t paprika
- 1 t freshly ground pepper
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1 t dried thyme (I used powdered thyme this time, but I’ve also used the little sprigs too)
- 1/8 t cayenne pepper
- 1 t garlic salt
- 1 t oregano (powdered or leaves)
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
Combine all the spices and then coat the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture.
Grill chicken 4-6 minutes each side, until internal temperature reaches 165*. Set aside (tented with foil) while you prepare the salad.
Kale Avocado Cilantro Salad
- 4 cups kale, destemmed, washed, torn into bite-sized pieces
- ½ avocado, diced
- ¼ c cilantro, chopped
- ¼ c cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2-4 T olive oil
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
Combine the kale and cilantro in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper. Massage with your hands until the kale is softened and reduced. Add the avocado and tomatoes and gently toss to combine.
Slice your chicken and serve on top of the salad.
Enjoy with a loved one! (Or keep it all to yourself, I won’t tell. 😉 )