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Chicken and Tart-Apple Chopped Salad

7302-eat3One of my favorite entrees at the Cheesecake Factory is the Factory Chopped Salad. It comes in two versions—regular and SkinnyLicious®. I have created my own, more healthful take on this favorite salad and wanted to share it. It’s a tried-and-true go-to recipe that I enjoy every week.

Don’t be concerned about having fruit at night. The amazing health benefits you get from eating green apples like the tart Granny Smith include lots of fiber, which is good for digestion, and a reduced risk of colon cancer. Green apples also relieve constipation and help reduce blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar, and they have loads of vitamins, such as C, A, B6 and riboflavin, and minerals, such as potassium and zinc. Green apple improves liver function and contains several antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer by derailing DNA damage.

Good stuff. Here’s the recipe.

6 cups sliced and chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 medium Granny Smith or other tart, green apple

2 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese

4 stalks celery

1/4 medium white onion

1 medium avocado

4 slices turkey bacon

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

8 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (approximately 2 breasts)

Rinse the chopped lettuce, and dry in a salad spinner to remove all excess water. Divide the greens into two large bowls.

Chop the celery, and add half to each bowl.

Slice the onion, coat the slices with cooking spray, and grill in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Grill until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add half of the onion to each bowl.

In same pan cook the turkey bacon until crisp. Chop it in to small pieces and add half to each bowl.

Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Score the inside of each half and scoop out the slices with a spoon. Add to the salads.

Cube the cooked chicken and add half to each salad.

Once everything is layered, cut the blue cheese wedges into small pieces and add half to each salad. The cheese will be soft.

Drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and serve.

Makes two servings, each containing: calories, 548; fat, 15 grams; carbohydrate, 54.18 grams; protein, 44.26 grams.

—Jenny Grothe


Editor’s note: Jenny Grothe is a trainer, nutritionist, motivator, speaker and author who enjoys playing in the kitchen. Having lost 60 pounds, going from a size 14 to a size 4, she knows firsthand the importance of regular training and a clean diet in maintaining a healthful lifestyle. Since losing the weight five years ago, she has competed in seven figure competitions, placing in five, and has run three marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2011. To contact Jenny and learn more about her services, go to www

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