If you’ve been following along with me, you know that each week I, and a group of fellow bloggers, write and post about a particular power food from a book called Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients, published by the editors at Healthy Living, a Martha Stewart publication. And by the way, we devote this week to the papaya. The book has only one to two paragraphs to summarize the nutritional benefits of a particular food, so each week I complement this with further research. I usually start with The World’s Healthiest Foods and then continue from there. I came across an article on a site that does not usually post health information. What impressed me was that she had 169 responses; many are testimonies from people who benefited from eating papaya, the seeds, tea from the leaves, or papaya supplements. I always take testimonies with a grain of salt, but. The World’s Healthiest Foods also indicates many of these benefits. As you’ll see, this power food is pretty potent!
Christopher Columbus called papaya the “fruit of the angels.” The tree is also known as the pawpaw, and the fruit pawpaw or papaya) is packed with vitamin antioxidants C, E, and A, as well as being a good source for the B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Papaya contains a powerful enzyme called papain, which helps to lower inflammation and aids to digest proteins. It helps with protection against macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and prostrate cancer to name a few. The small black seeds look like moist peppercorns; they are edible and they have a peppery, but bitter flavor. Most people discard the seeds, but those who are knowledgeable eat the seeds to prevent, or cure the problem of intestinal parasites. Papaya will certainly be a part of my healthy eating habits!
The instructions below assume you have cooked chicken on hand. Add another 20 minutes if you plan to bake the chicken breast. The salad looks loveliest on an extra large serving platter. Unfortunately, the plate in the picture was not large enough to leave a border around the lettuce.
Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes
1 head of butter lettuce – enough for four people
2 cups papaya cut into ¾ inch cubes
½ breast chicken, cooked and shredded (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon cardamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup slivered red onion
2 tablespoons coconut, unsweetened and shredded
½ cup cilantro leaves
For the vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
¾ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon mustard
Pinch teaspoon sea salt
Pinch black pepper
1. Put the garam masala, the curry and the cardamon in a small heated pan and dry stir just until it gives off a fragrant aroma. Add slightly less than 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set it aside
2. Place the shredded chicken in a medium bowl and sprinkle the spices over it and then mix it well. Add the papaya, 1 tablespoon coconut, ½ of the red onion and toss lightly.
3. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients; the olive oil, lime juice, mustard, garlic, pinch of black pepper, and salt to taste.
4. Wash the butter lettuce and cut off the bottom end. Pat the lettuce dry with a paper towel. Open the lettuce on a large plate, spreading out the leaves. Place the papaya/chicken mix in the center and then top with the cilantro leaves, and then the remaining coconut, onion. Pour the lime vinaigrette over the top as needed.
If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up! Alanna – Kitchen Parade Veggie Adventure – Alyce - More Time at the Table, Ansh - Spice Roots, Casey –SweetSav Jeanette - Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Martha - Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits