Recipes

Phytochemical Summer Salad with Roasted Chicken

My favorite thing about the summer is the salads! I begin craving them as soon as the weather gets warm and eat them all summer.  For example, this summer salad with roasted chicken is one of my favorites.  You can’t go wrong with throwing every color vegetable onto a bed of spring mix.  Not only is it easy to do, but it’s so good for you!

Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Summer Salad, a phytochemical powerhouse

So, why does color matter?

Phytochemicals!  There are hundreds present in any particular food.  Phytochemicals are what give the plant it’s color, aroma, and flavor.  They also protect the plant from infection and predators.  There are so many, and scientists haven’t even identified them all!

So, how do they affect us?  Phytochemicals synergize with one another and other food substances, working as antioxidants.  Consequently, they protect the human body from oxidative damage.  Phytochemicals also help reduce inflammation linked to disease, protect against cardiovascular disease, combat infections, and hinder the initiation and progression of cancer.

How can we include more phytochemicals into our diet?

Your phytochemical intake will increase dramatically with a plant-focused, whole-food diet. Most importantly, aim for a variety of colors throughout the day.  When I am making a grocery list in preparation for a salad, I think of vegetables in every color. 

Summer salads can include any variety of the following fruits and vegetables.

RED

rainbow tomatoes (red)

radishes

red bell pepper

strawberries

cherries

 

ORANGE

rainbow carrots (orange)

orange bell pepper

apricots

peaches

 

YELLOW

rainbow carrots (yellow)

rainbow tomatoes (yellow)

corn

yellow bell pepper

lemon

GREEN

any leafy green

green beans

avocado

cucumber

green bell pepper

limes

 

BLUE

blueberries

concord grapes

plums

 

PURPLE

purple cabbage

rainbow carrots (purple)

rainbow tomatoes (purple)

blackberries

purple grapes

These fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.  Whatever you have on hand or can find will work.  Eating the rainbow throughout the day will ensure you get the necessary nutrients.  Furthermore, these whole foods are loaded with fiber for a healthy gut.  Fiber keeps things flowing better and feeds the beneficial bacteria that make up your gut microbiome, which thrives on diversity.  That is a whole other topic that I will discuss in another post. 

Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Summer Salad, a phytochemical powerhouse
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5 from 1 vote

Summer Salad with Roasted Chicken

It wouldn’t be summertime without a colorful salad packed with phytochemicals! It includes a variety of colors which can be customized with preferred vegetables.
Course Salad
Keyword AIP, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Lunch, Meals, No Added Sugar, Quick & Easy, Salads, Whole 30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Robin

Ingredients

  • 3 rainbow carrots shredded
  • 1 cucumber halved and sliced
  • 1 avocado halved and sliced
  • 1 cup rainbow tomatoes
  • 1 cup green beans quartered
  • 1 container spring mix or leafy green of choice
  • 2 chicken breast roasted and chilled ahead
  • 3/4 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup dressing I love Primal Kitchen's, lemon turmeric dressing but any vinaigrette will work

Notes

Toss together all of the ingredients and top with the salad dressing and pecans. 

References:

Thompson, T, Manore, M, Vaughan, L 2020, The Science of Nutrition, 5th Ed, Pearson, USA

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