Avocado & Balsamic Chicken Salad

Avocado & Balsamic Chicken Salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g skinless chicken breast fillets
1 spanish onion, sliced into wedges
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bag of gourmet salad
200g green beans, blanched
1 packet truss tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
1 Shepard Avocado, sliced
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from pan.

2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Saute for 4 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Whisk together Balsamic Vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard. Return chicken to pan and pour over dressing. Simmer for 1 minute.

4. Remove chicken from pan and slice. Toss with salad leaves, beans, tomatoes, Shepard avocado, pinenuts and dressing. Serve topped with shaved parmesan. Season to taste.

Serves 4

Brought to you by Shepard Avocado

Starting the Australian Avocado season with a bang, the Shepard avocado is ripe and ready for the picking from the end of February through to April and according to leading nutritionists, will decrease your fat intake by 75%... so spread the word and spread on nature's own butter!

Go Green - The Shepard avocado is a green-skinned variety and is the only avocado whose flesh won't go brown when cut. With their nutty flavour and smooth buttery consistency there are now heaps of reasons why avocados are healthy and good for us.

In fact, according to Australia's best-known nutritionist Dr. Rosemary Stanton, avocados have a quarter of the fat found in butter and margarine, "just one tablespoon of butter or margarine has a whopping 16g of fat! Amazingly, most parents put butter or margarine on their children's school sandwiches every day!" comments Rosemary.

"By swapping the butter or margarine for a tablespoon of avocado, this decreases your fat intake by 75%! That is, you get just 4g of fat" she explains.

Go Healthy - Contrary to popular belief, Avocados are low in saturated fat which is the 'bad' fat we need to avoid. However, Avocados are high in "good" unsaturated fat - the same kind that is found in extra virgin olive oil. "The healthy unsaturated fat in avocados comes with vitamin E and a range of antioxidants that can help protect us against harmful effects of fat in the arteries. Studies also show that a healthy diet with fat from avocado can lead to a fall in blood cholesterol levels" states Dr Stanton.

Go Kids - Avocados are suitable for infants from 6 months onwards and a terrific way to provide growing bodies with the vitamins and minerals they need. There are many delicious ways kids enjoy avocados; the Shepard is perfect for spreading on sandwiches, rolls and crackers for school lunches, makes a great guacamole snack and is perfect mashed as one of the first foods for infants.

With the heightened awareness and growing concern of childhood obesity in Australia, what we give our children to eat is increasingly important.

With their natural health benefits, give nature's butter the 'green light' this season and look out for Shepard Avocados until mid April, available nationally from your favourite supermarket or green grocer.