Orange Avocado Grilled Chicken SaladMy approach to assembling a meal each night is hardly different from pulling together an outfit each morning. Take today’s recipe: it started with my mood for something a little lighter and the desire to use the perfectly ripe avocado sitting in my fruit bowl lest it go rapidly south. From there sprung the idea of a satisfying main dish salad. The oranges, sitting alongside the avocado, struck me as a great match, and I built the rest of the concept from there, layering in greens, and tying it all up with a little texture in the form of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Likewise, what I’m wearing today: it began with my black skinny jeans because they’re effortless and go with everything, paired with a sweater from a sample sale that makes me look far hipper than I feel. A delicate necklace added a little glitter to the mix without interfering with my work in the kitchen, and a cozy grey jacket finished the job, keeping me warm against the unseasonable chill in the air.

Food and fashion are alike in a lot of ways. So much so that a food professionals conference I attended recently was themed entirely on the subject. Several speakers at the event noted how top trend-setting chefs are little different from cutting-edge clothing designers. Both decide what’s in and what’s out; the rest of us eventually catch on. There was a time I never thought I’d be eating tofu skin or wearing cotton jumpsuits; I now find myself doing both.

Although this salad is not remotely trendy, it is completely worth making (much like your well-traveled jeans are worth wearing). It starts with a marinade that doubles as a salad dressing. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of olive oil in the recipe; half of it gets discarded once the chicken goes onto the grill. Endive, a mildly bitter, crunchy vegetable in the chicory family, adds a little crunch and punch to the greens. This is balanced by the sweetness of the oranges and the touch of honey in the dressing. The presence of healthy fats — olive oil, avocado, and pumpkin seeds — along with the chicken make the salad substantive enough to qualify as dinner.

Although I’ve made this twice now to enthusiastic review for weeknight family suppers, it’s also the sort of thing to tuck away for a ladies-only shower, lunch, or brunch. The bigger question there is, what am I going wear?

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  1. Pamela
    04.10.2012 at 8:11 PM #

    Yum! I was hoping to see a photo of your outfit along with the saad! Maybe next time!

    • katiemorford
      04.14.2012 at 1:17 PM #

      I think I’ll stick to food photos!

  2. Alison
    05.14.2012 at 1:00 PM #

    This was delicious! I made a “deconstructed” version fo my daughter who does not like lettuce and just add a few more raw veggies like cucumber and jicama.

    This salad is not listed on your index (at least I can’t find it) so I am worried that I won’t be able to find lit when it is no longer listed under “Recent Posts”.

    • katiemorford
      05.14.2012 at 1:27 PM #

      Great. Thanks for the heads up about the recipe index. I’m on it!

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