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Chicken Breast with California Avocado Risotto

Contributed by: NAPSA

Avocados: More "Phyte" Per Bite - by Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., President, Produce for Better Health Foundation (NAPSA) - Packed with essential nutrients and phytonutrients that work together to help prevent a variety of diseases, avocados can be a great addition to a healthful diet.

Avocados are recognized as an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which is known to lower cholesterol levels, but the antioxidants and phytonutrients contained in the fruit are less well known. These plant nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables work together to reduce oxidant stress and prevent disease.

New research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) indicates that California avocados have nearly twice as much vitamin E as previously reported, making avocados the highest fruit source of the powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is known to slow the aging process and protect against heart disease and common forms of cancer by neutralizing free radicals, which may cause cellular damage.

In addition to the Vitamin E findings, the study also revealed that avocados are the highest fruit source of lutein compared to the 20 most commonly eaten fruits in the United States. Lutein is a phytonutrient known as a carotenoid, which helps protect against eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness for the elderly.

Lutein joins two other phytonutrients identified in avocados, glutathione and beta-sitosterol. Glutathione functions as an antioxidant like Vitamin E to "mop up" free radicals. The avocado's beta-sitosterol content combined with its monounsaturated fat content helps avocados to lower cholesterol levels.

A fifth of an avocado contains about 5 grams of fat, the majority of which is the heart healthy, monounsaturated fat similar to the fat in olive oil. Studies have shown that substituting monounsaturated fat for saturated fat in diets helps reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Try this delicious, 5 A Day for Better Health recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Risotto

    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 cups fresh green bell pepper, diced
    • 1/2 cup frozen corn
    • 1 1/2 cup fresh tomato, diced
    • 4 cups white rice, cooked
    • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
    • 1/2 medium California avocado, diced

  • Chicken

    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 6 (3 oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/2 cup capers
    • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 medium California avocado, sliced

Directions:

Risotto:

Saute the pepper, corn and tomato in olive oil over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice and basil. Simmer for about 5 more minutes and set aside. Add the diced avocado.

Chicken:

Saute the chicken in olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side over low heat. Remove it from the skillet and in the same skillet saute the capers for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. To serve, place the risotto on a plate and top with a chicken breast. Pour the capers and lemon juice mixture over the chicken and rice. Garnish with the avocado slices.

Serving Size: Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 452 calories, 13g fat, 2.3 saturated fat, 1.8g polyunsaturated fat, 7.7g monounsaturated fat, 72mg cholesterol, 107mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 32g protein.


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