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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Wilkinson

It's Thursday, and We're Eating Salad

Hello! It's a Thursday, my favorite day of the week. Sometimes the anticipation is more exciting than the actual event- In this case, the weekend. When I was in school, I always loved looking forward to Friday. It was usually purple and gold day, our school colors, and teachers and students alike were ready for a break.

As a 31 year-old working mother, Thursday holds the same anticipation for the weekend, except the circles under my eyes are darker and I'm sitting on a heating pad. My husband Ryan and I usually save our richest meals for the weekends, so I spend Monday-Thursday loading us up with vegetables and plant-based proteins. Sort of a peace offering to our bodies for the pizza and wine we throw at them on Friday and Saturday. So as a last stitch effort to keep the 80/20 balance in line, I made grilled chicken salads for dinner.

We've eaten plant-based all week long, so I was ready for some hot juicy chicken. It's also the last 90+ degree day in the forecast for the foreseeable future, so I went summer vibes with this one with a citrusy, lime-forward marinade. Citrus is one of the quickest ways to impart flavor, and break down the outer layer of collagen in meats, for ultimate juiciness. I got some beautifully ripe avocados from the store yesterday, so you know I have to use those in the next 8 hours or they will turn brown, and some surprisingly flavorful vine tomatoes.

The result: Charred limey chicken topped with fresh tomato avocado salsa, over a bed of crunchy lettuce. The perfect set-up to get our taste buds ready for Friday night tacos.


  • 2 chicken breasts or boneless thighs

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 limes, divided

  • 1 large or 2 small ripe tomatoes

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • Prepared pickled onions (optional)

  • Queso fresco or Feta cheese

  • S&P to taste


Lay chicken between wax or parchment paper, and using a meat mallet, rolling pin or wine bottle, pound until an even thickness. Alternatively, you can butterfly thicker pieces of meat. This ensures no overcooked edges and/or under-cooked centers.

Combine the ingredients through the olive oil, in a seal-able container or a gallon plastic bag. Juice one of the limes into the marinade, and whisk until combined. Add your nice, evenly pounded chicken and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. The longer you let this soak up the flavors, the better, but I've certainly gotten nice results by getting this started during the lunch hour.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat, and grill marinated chicken to 165 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the chicken is grilling, slice tomatoes and avocados into 1 inch chunks, and place in small bowl. Squeeze the remaining lime over your cubed fruit, add some diced pickled or raw red onions, S&P to taste.

Serve sliced chicken topped with avocado tomato salsa over a bed of lettuce or grain of choice. If serving as a salad, squeeze another lime wedge and a drizzle of olive oil for dressing.

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