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A Fresh Spin on Salads

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Spicy Roasted Corn, Avocado and Chicken Salad
Layered Taco Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
Avocado and Corn Confetti Cups

(Family Features) - Impress your family and dinner guests with vibrant and delectable salads that are quick and easy to prepare. Using a creative combination of prepared ingredients like bagged greens or cooked chicken and some fresh flavor-rich ingredients, you will earn raves and recipe requests!

Avocados and corn are two delicious wholesome ingredients that are actually plentiful at this time of year. The avocado's rich flavor and creamy texture complement the crunchy character of supersweet corn, making them a dynamic duo that can transform your everyday salad.

The avocados on store shelves now likely come from Mexico. It's the same Hass variety you are used to, only grown in ideal conditions in central Mexico, the avocado capital of the world. The rich volcanic soil, mountain rain and abundant sunshine, combined with first-class production and safety standards, allow Mexican growers to harvest high-quality fruit year round.

Before cutting them, make sure avocados are ripe. Their buttery-smooth flavor and texture are at their prime when the pebbly skin is dark and the fruit yields to gentle pressure. If they are green and not quite ripe when you buy them, hold avocados at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe, refrigerate until ready to use.

Right now is a great time for sweet corn on the cob, thanks to supersweet varieties grown in Florida. Because they do not lose their sugar as quickly as traditional summer corn, you are rewarded with a delicious sweet taste in every bite. The extra sugar also keeps them fresh longer, (stored in the refrigerator), and the corn cooks quicker as well, on the grill or in the microwave. For the unmistakable juicy crunch you only get from fresh corn, cut kernels from the cob just before use in recipes. The kernels are equally tasty when eaten raw.

Nourishing Notes

Fresh fruits and vegetables don't need nutritional labels to tell you how packed they are with the right combination of nutrients for healthy goodness - naturally. Besides outstanding fresh flavor, both Mexican avocados and supersweet corn pack an impressive nutritional punch.

Avocados are nutrient-dense with 20 vitamins and minerals. They also boast heart-healthy unsaturated fats as recommended by The American Heart Association. And they're great for diabetics as they are fiber-rich and do not contain carbs.

Supersweet corn with its complex carbohydrates provides energy and is also a good source of Vitamin C and folic acid, lacking in the diets of most Americans. One medium ear of corn only has 80 calories and no saturated fat.

Both avocados and corn contain lutein, an antioxidant that has been shown to help maintain healthy eyesight as we age. Supersweet corn also contains zeaxanthin, another important antioxidant, which may lessen the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Spicy Roasted Corn, Avocado and Chicken Salad

Description
Impress your family and dinner guests with vibrant and delectable salads that are quick and easy to prepare.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ears fresh supersweet corn, husk and silk removed
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced radishes
  • 2 fully ripened Mexican avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • Spicy Salad Dressing, recipe follows
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens in bite-sized pieces

Preparation
    1. Preheat broiler to high.
    2. In a small cup, combine lime juice, chili powder and salt. Brush corn ears with the seasoning mixture; place on a broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from heat source until lightly browned; turn and continue broiling until barely cooked, a total of 7 to 10 minutes. Cool.
    3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine, chicken, tomatoes and radishes. Cut each avocado into slices then cut slices in half crosswise; add to chicken mixture.
    4. Add 1/4 cup Spicy Salad Dressing; toss gently. Cut two or three 1/4-inch slices from each corn ear; set aside. Cut remaining corn kernels from the cobs, by holding the ear upright in a shallow bowl so the kernels don't scatter.
    5. Divide salad greens among 4 dinner plates. Top with the chicken mixture then corn kernels. Garnish with reserved corn rounds. Serve with additional dressing, if desired.
    6. Spicy Salad Dressing: To 1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette dressing, add 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/8 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground red pepper (cayenne).

Calories: 402g     Total Fat: 22g
Cholesterol:     Protein: 26g
Carbohydrates: 31g     Sodium: 462mg

Serves
Yield 4 portions

Layered Taco Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

Ingredients
  • 2 fully ripened Mexican avocados, halved, pitted and peeled, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Lime juice, as directed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)
  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) refried beans
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation
    1. To prepare the dressing - Chop one avocado; place in the bowl of a food processor with cilantro, oil, 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice, sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons water; process until smooth. Transfer to a zippered plastic bag, seal and refrigerate until ready to serve. Coarsely chop remaining avocado; toss with 2 teaspoons lime juice; set aside.
    2. In a 9-inch glass pie plate, layer lettuce, onion, chicken, beans, reserved avocado, tomatoes, and cheese in that order. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    3. To serve - Spoon dressing onto salad, spreading evenly. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Calories: 421g     Total Fat: 31g
Cholesterol:     Protein: 13g
Carbohydrates: 27g     Sodium: 661mg

Serves
Yield 4 to 6 main dish portions or 10 to 12 appetizer portion

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Per Serving:

Avocado and Corn Confetti Cups

Ingredients
  • 1 ear fresh supersweet corn, husk and silk removed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 fully ripened Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Large iceberg or leaf lettuce leaves

Preparation
    1. Cut kernels from ear of corn by holding the ear upright in a shallow dish to prevent the kernels from scattering.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently stir in avocado and feta.
    3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    4. To serve: On 4 salad plates arrange lettuce to form cups; spoon salad into in each cup. Garnish with avocado slices, if desired.

Calories: 214g     Total Fat: 16g
Cholesterol:     Protein: 6g
Carbohydrates: 13g     Sodium: 616mg

Serves
Yield 4 portions

SOURCE: Fresh Supersweet Corn Council
Avocados from Mexico



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