Monday, January 20, 2014

Lime Quinoa with Chipotle Chicken and Cilantro Avocado Dressing

I love avocado.  It's nice to love healthy things, right?  Avocado is a healthy fat source and has anti-aging properties amongst many of it's attributes.  I most definitely can eat a whole avocado in one sitting.  Just cut it up and put a little lime juice and salt and pepper on it and I'm good to go.  Not bad if that was all I was eating, but a whole lotta calories otherwise... it IS possible to have too much of a good thing.

Last week my grocery store had avocados on sale for $1 each.  Hard for me to pass that up so I bought a few.  I knew I'd make a batch of Helen's Holy Guacamole for Mr. Helen as it might be his favorite thing in the world.  He eats it as a dip and he eats it as a spread and he eats it non-stop once I make it.  Often I never get one single bite of a batch, as was the case this time around.

I also knew I was going to try a Cilantro Avocado Dressing that a friend had shared from her friend's website.

I started by making Lime Quinoa and then adding some chicken.  Normally, I'd add cilantro and avocado to that - which is where I'd get in trouble as a couple of avocado slices are never enough for me.  Instead I topped it with a couple tablespoons of the dressing and holy moly was it delicious.  It gave me the exact flavor I was looking for at only 32 calories!!  I will be using this dressing on other salads where I want that avocado flare, it's really delicious.

Cilantro Avocado Dressing
from FitLivin'

1/2 ripe avocado
3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I used a 5.3 ounce container of Stonyfield 0% Greek)
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, quartered
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place avocado, cilantro, yogurt, scallions, garlic, lime juice, sugar and salt in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.

Per Tablespoon: 16 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein

Chipotle Chicken Lime Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing
Serves 4

Chipotle Marinade
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 T olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, pour over 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Let marinate at least 2 hours. (I usually mix in the morning and let it marinate all day while I’m at work.)  Or, as a shortcut, buy a package of Weber or McCormick’s Chipotle Marinade, mix according to package directions and use that!

Once chicken is marinated, grill, broil, or use a George Forman grill to cook through.

Lime Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock (or water)

Bring quinoa to a boil then cover, reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking, in a medium bowl:

1 small red onion, shopped
1 red, yellow, or orange pepper, chopped
Zest 1 lime and squeeze out the lime juice
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt

Once quinoa is cooked, dump it over the onion, pepper and lime and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Stir well to combine.

To make bowl, put a bed of lettuce in a bowl (or a handful of spring mix), top with 1 cup Lime Quinoa, ½ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, then dice or slice 4 oz chicken.

Top with 2 Tablespoons (or more to taste) Cilantro Avocado Dressing.

Per serving: 419 calories, 44g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 45g protein, 6g fiber (includes calories from dressing)


  1. This sounds so good - anything with lime, cilantro and avocado, and I'm there! Now, do you deliver? ;)

  2. It's funny - I love fatty stuff, but have never liked the avocado. The chipotle lime, on the other hand...

  3. Yes, this sounds really great! I'm especially jazzed about the avocado dressing. It sounds delicious, and the stats are stupendous!

  4. I don't really like avocado in its whole form, but I might like it in a dressing, especially a yogurt-based dressing. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Well, you had me at avocado, cilantro and chipotle!! Can't wait to make the dressing!

    Thanks Helen! :D

  6. I adore avocados! They really make a salad. It looks beautiful!