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Healthy summer recipe ideas from Hearthstone Communities

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Instead of sweating in the kitchen during the hot summer months, look to simple recipes that don’t require much time.

Summer is a great time of year to focus on healthy meal options, with a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in season.

Satisfy your appetite from morning to night with foods that high in nutritional content. Check the ingredient list, watch your serving size and be aware of sodium and sugar content.

"It is not healthy to purchase processed foods with added sodium," said My Fit Foods nutritionist Jenny Smith. "This can increase your blood pressure, risk of diabetes, or risk of chronic kidney disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 1,500 mg if you are 51 or older, so check out the label and make sure you're within this limit."

Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados

Ingredients:

1 large Hass avocado

14 ox boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp. stone-ground Dijon mustard

1 tsp. dried tarragon

2 Tbsp. dried, unsweetened cranberries

1 Tbsp. slivered almonds

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the broiler.

Prepare the chicken breast by seasoning with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet, and broiled on the first side for 7 minutes, flip and broil on the second side 5 minutes, adjusting depending on thickness.

Alternatively, you can grill the chicken. Set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, coarsely chop or shred with two forks.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper, tarragon and parsley. Mix well and season to taste. Add to the shredded chicken along with the cranberries and almonds

Slice the avocado in half and take out the pit. Divide the chicken salad mixture between the halves and serve.

Makes 1-2 servings. Cooking time is 25 minutes.

Recipe adapted from The Today Show Food Club

Hearthstone Communities, 920 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098, 815-338-2110, www.hearthstonewoodstock.org.