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    Chicken, Avocado and Brown Rice Salad

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    Chicken, Avocado and Brown Rice Salad

    Moisturisers and sunscreens may help to keep you looking youthful, but your skin and hair also need to be nourished from within. The best way to do that is by choosing the right diet: eating foods rich in antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E, and selenium, along with many of the phytochemicals found in fruit and vegetables) will help protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals and slow the progress of ageing. A diet that is deficient in vitamins, minerals or essential fatty acids can result in skin problems such as dryness, or the slow healing of cuts and wounds. Vitamins from the B group help to strengthen the hair shaft: weight for weight, brown rice contains twice as many B vitamins as white. It also has a firmer texture than white rice, as well as a slightly nutty taste and works really well in salads such as this one. Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids which help keep the skin and scalp in good condition. Lack of essential fats can cause hair to become dry and lifeless.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 55 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 175g brown basmati rice
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, sliced
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 ripe Hass avocados, skin and stone removed and flesh diced
    • 6 salad onions, finely sliced
    • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • A pinch dried chilli flakes

    Method

    1. Cook the brown rice in boiling water for 35 minutes, or for the time stated on the packet instructions, until tender. Once the rice is cooked, drain well and allow it to cool. While the rice is cooking, heat 1 tbsp oil in a nonstick pan over a high heat and sauté the chicken for 3–4 minutes until golden. Ensure that it is cooked through.
    2. To make the dressing, combine the remaining oil, vinegar and garlic and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl, stir in the chicken, avocado, salad onions, tomatoes and chilli flakes. Pour over the dressing and toss thoroughly.

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