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Hearing health recipe: spinach salad

Contributed by | Monday, February 23rd, 2015

You are what you eat.  It’s an old adage, probably a worn out one at that. Still, the phrase hasn’t outstayed it’s welcome just yet because, well, it rings so positively true: the vitamins and minerals that make up our food are directly responsible for our body’s shape and overall health.

That’s why this month we’ve created another tasty and easy recipe full of nutrients found in seasonal foods that encourage good hearing health. Since the month of February is also American Heart Month, the salad featured below is a healthy option that’s also chock full of the vitamins and minerals your ticker needs to keep on-a-tickin’. 

Will eating this salad make your hearing loss disappear? Enable you to toss your hearing aids to the wind? Remove any heart health maladies you may be dealing with?

Unfortunately, no.  Nor will this recipe prevent you from needing to see a hearing healthcare professional if you suspect you might have hearing loss. However, eating foods like the ingredients found in the recipe below that are rich in zinc (important for the middle ear), magnesium (helps reduce tinnitus), folate and potassium (vital to the fluid in your inner ear) helps you maintain optimal hearing health.

Best of all? This easy-to-assemble salad can work as a starter or a full course and packs a big flavor; perfect for a quick dinner or bring-to-work lunch.

Spinach salad with honey lemon chicken and homemade whole wheat croutons

chicken spinach salad
A salad can be a great vehicle for eating the 
right nutrients needed to maintain heart and 
hearing functions. Avocados are especially
nutritious and are generally in season year-

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yields: 2 main or 4 side courses


- 4 cups spinach
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 pink grapefruit, segmented with juice reserved
- 1 ripe hass avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup almonds, slivered
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons local honey
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 small whole wheat baguette
- Kosher salt and pepper


Wash spinach and arugula in a salad spinner, making sure all excess water is out.  Set aside. To make croutons, preheat your oven to 400. Cut the baguette into 1 inch squares. Scatter bread squares onto a cookie sheet. Cover with 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with hands to make sure all bread squares are coated and seasoned. Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

For the chicken, mix juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons honey and a hefty dash of fresh ground pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Place chicken in a bowl and pour marinade over. Let marinade for 10 minutes. Segment the grapefruit, squeezing the juice into a Pyrex measuring cup.  Whisk in minced garlic, 1 tablespoon honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. While whisking, pour in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until incorporated. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Return to your marinated chicken. Feel free to grill or pan fry! If you opt for the grill, grill chicken on each side for 6 minutes, until they start to pink up. If pan-frying, add a dollop of olive oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken on each side, about 6 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.

Finally, assemble your salad: Coat the inside of a large mixing or salad bowl with salad dressing. Next, add in greens, slivered almonds, sliced avocado, croutons and grapefruit segments. Incorporate together using your hands or tongs. Add more dressing if needed.  Plate salad, topping each serving with chicken.  Serve immediately with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

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