Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chicken Salad

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - January 27, 2010
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Choose papayas that have reddish-orange or yellow skin and yield slightly to soft pressure from the fingers. Avoid papayas that are totally green or overly hard, as they have been picked too soon, and most likely will not ripen properly. A few black or moldy spots on the surface will not affect the flavor, but pass up those that are bruised or overly soft. Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temperature, where they will ripen in a few days. If you want to hasten ripening, place them in a paper bag with a banana.

Papayas are a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins folate and pantothenic acid; minerals potassium and magnesium; as well as fiber. Papayas also contain the digestive enzyme papain, which is extracted from the skin and used in the meat industry as a tenderizer.


FIERY CHICKEN PAPAYA SALAD

* 2 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1/2 cup low-sodium shoyu
* 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
* 2 firm vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
* 1/2 cup chopped Maui onion
* 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
* 1 pound bag of fresh salad greens
* 1 large firm papaya, cut into thin slices
* fat-free honey mustard dressing

In small bowl or shallow pan, mix shoyu, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and green onion until combined. Add chicken, cover and marinate for at least three hours in refrigerator. Mix tomatoes, onion, pepper and basil until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to meld flavors.


 

Preheat grill to high heat and brush with oil, so chicken won’t stick. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook for about seven minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Slice into thin strips. Place salad greens on four plates and divide tomato mixture over each salad. Divide chicken strips and place on top. Top with papaya slices and drizzle with dressing.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 320
Cholesterol: 60 milligrams
Fat: 4 grams
Sodium: 300 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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