Guest Column: Refreshing recipes with fresh produce

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Guest Column by Emily Schmidt

Albert Lea resident Emily Schmidt is a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. She enjoys writing, cooking and spending time with her son and family. 

Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt

Summer is a great time to experiment with healthy and refreshing fruit and vegetable recipes. Utilizing fresh, seasonal produce also tends to be less expensive than using off-season foods. Make it a goal this season to try new ways of preparing and eating fruits and vegetables, especially those including ingredients you’ve never tried before.

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Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

From CookingLight

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, about 1/4 cup salsa)




2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray


1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped



1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.


Nutritional information

Calories: 289 

Total fat: 13.2 grams 

Saturated fat: 2.4 grams

Monounsaturated fat: 7.5 grams

Polyunsaturated fat: 1.9 grams 

Protein: 35.6 grams

Carbohydrates: 6.6 grams

Fiber: 3.6 grams

Cholesterol: 94 milligrams 

Iron: 1.6 milligrams

Sodium: 383 milligrams 

Calcium: 29 milligrams 


Dietitian tips (from Emily): This is a great recipe to serve over brown rice. To reduce sodium content, omit salt or replace with a salt substitute such as Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning blend. The avocado salsa could also serve as a great topping for salads, tacos or even served over brown rice as a side dish for a lean steak or other grilled meat.



Watermelon Smoothie
with a Hint of Mint

Recipe from Oxmoor House

Yield: serves 1



2 cups (1-inch) cubed seedless watermelon

1/3 cup plain 2 percent reduced-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped mint



Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.


Nutritional information

Calories 143 

Total fat: 2 grams

Saturated fat: 1.1 grams 

Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams

Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 grams 

Protein: 8.3 grams 

Carbohydrate: 26.4 grams 

Fiber: 1.5 grams 

Cholesterol: 5 milligrams 

Iron: 0.9 milligrams 

Sodium: 29 milligrams 

Calcium: 79 milligrams 


Dietitian tip (from Emily): Add a few ice cubes for an even cooler, more refreshing taste.