Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Beetroot, Wild Rice and Herb Salad

Enjoy a summer salad that's bursting with health benefits



chicken with beetroot salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, finely ground
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g wild rice, or white and wild rice mixed
  • 500g cooked beetroot, chopped into chunks
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch each of mint, coriander and dill, roughly chopped (reserve some dill for garnishing)
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp Greek yoghurt

1. Marinate the chicken by mixing together tbsps of olive oil, cumin, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and rubbing it into the chicken breasts.

2. For the salad, cook the wild rice according to the packet instructions. Rinse under cold running water. Drain well and tip into a large bowl.

3. Stir the beetroot, spring onions and herbs though the rice.

4. Mix together the orange juice and zest, white wine vinegar and the rest of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the dressing through the salad. Set aside while you cook the chicken.

5. Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Heat a griddle pan until it's really hot and sear the chicken on both sides. Transfer to a baking sheet and finish cooking the chicken in the oven - depending on the thickness, it should take 10-15 minutes. You can also cook it on a barbecue.

6. When the chicken is cooked, cut each breast into thick slices.

7. To serve, pile the rice salad onto plates or a large serving platter and arrange the chicken on top. Spoon the yoghurt on top of this and garnish with a scattering of the reserved dill fronds. Serve immediately.


The Benefits

Beetroot

Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is a powerful antioxidant that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, thereby protecting the heart. Cholesterol levels are also kept in check by the soluble fibre in beetroot. It also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as potassium, magnesium and iron.

Chicken

First, remove the fatty skin. Second, enjoy the massive protein hit chicken offers (about 22g per 100g). The body needs protein for growth and repair and it's also essential for the immune system. Chicken also contains the mineral selenium, another powerful antioxidant, and vitamin B3 (niacin), which helps protect the body's DNA from attack by free radicals.

Wild rice

It's actually a type of grass but wild rice is still packed with nutrition. It offers a hefty dose of potassium, which the body's muscles need to work properly and which is also vital for the nervous system. Wild rice is high in folic acid, which may offer some protection against heart disease and some cancers. Low levels of folic acid in men have been associated
with a decreased sperm count.

This recipe was printed in the July 2011 edition of Triathlete's World magazine. Many thanks to lovebeetroot.co.uk for supplying this recipe.


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