Rice Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate & Chicken

Purple, red, green and yellow.   Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-laa and Po invaded my bed with their very invasive playmate, Sofia.  It's one of those nights when she wants to stay up longer than usual.  When I told her that it's sleeping time, she immediately stopped playing, grabbed her Teletubbies stuff toys and their adopted dog, all wrapped around her short arms that you can barely see her face and dumped the whole family on our bed.  One by one, each of her toys were tucked in with barely any space left for herself and definitely no space for anyone else. 

Usually, she asks me to stay with her until she falls asleep.  I welcome these moments because I get to cuddle her the most, crushing the Teletubbies beings in between us.  With a big bed, I was generously given the edge of my side of the bed while my daughter and her colorful friends occupied everything and even used half of my pillow.  How can Dipsy or Laa-laa or whoever it is, sleep without a pillow and a blanket?   And the adopted dog?  Of course it also got its own space on my pillow.

Even if you count me being at the lowest level of the hierarchy of the fans of Teletubbies, I have to be grateful for their colors for inspiring me to come up with this salad.  While they were sandwiched in between Sofia and me, I took a good look at them, still not understanding what they are and why both my kids love them.  The colors attracted me and I mentally sifted through my fridge and cupboards on what kind of salad I can prepare with similar intense colors.  I was out on purple but I had the other three. Thank you Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-laa and Po!

I love pomegranates.  I love putting them everywhere but I despise taking out the seeds.  Those beautiful, little, innocent looking red seeds are my worst nightmare in the kitchen.  They easily explode and leave stains everywhere, literally everywhere!  

What are our words today?

Pomegranate = melograno.
Salad = insalata.
Chicken = pollo.
Avocado = avocado.

I wanted to have a full meal without being too heavy so I was thinking of a light lunch of salad.  And based on the colors of Sofia's friends, I mixed some avocado, grilled chicken, salad leaves, spring onion, pomegranates, walnuts, lemon rind & rice.  I wish I had some purple potatoes too.

The salad was good with the pomegranate seeds' subtle tartness and sweetness livening up the flavors and giving more crunch than what the salad leaves can give.  Give it a try if you want a tasty and healthy meal.  

Buon appetito!

Rice Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate & Chicken

Serves 2
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I used Rosa Marchetti.)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 200 grams chicken fillet
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 untreated lemon, rind, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds to extract 3 tablespoons of juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • handful of salad leaves (I used lattughino or lettuce.)
  • handful of walnuts
  1. Rub juice of 1/2 lemon, salt & pepper on chicken fillets.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  
  2. Meantime, boil the rice with 1 1/2 cups of water with high flame.  Once it boils and the water starts to rise, put the fire at the lowest and cover.  Cook for about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl to cool when cooked.
  3. Grill both sides of the chicken on a griddle.  Dice.  Set aside.
  4. Put 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds in a small sieve, putting a small cup underneath it.  With the back of a spoon, crush the seeds.  This should yield about 3 tablespoons of juice.  Add about a tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Adjust the taste and amount to your liking.  Whisk. 
  5. In a big bowl, toss cooked rice, chicken, chopped spring onion, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, salad leaves and lemon rind. 
  6. Pour the sauce in the salad and toss again.