Let the avocado salsa sit for a while to add flavor

We’ve finally made it to summer again. After all the classes, projects and finals, why not relax by making yourself a nice meal? Okay so for a lot of you this doesn’t sound relaxing, but maybe tuck this recipe aside and make it sometime after you de-stress. It’s a great meal to kick off summer.

Unlike last month’s dish, I did this one all by myself and I didn’t screw anything up. That means it’s pretty easy, because even after months of cooking food I’m still not the greatest. But if you can chop things up and grill some chicken, you will be just fine.

The ingredients you need are:

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 avocados, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

4 chicken breasts

Just a word of warning before you chop anything: do not, I repeat, DO NOT chop jalapeños without some sort of glove on. Jalapeño oil stays on your fingers for a very long time and I ended up getting it in my eyes. The CIA could invent a new form of torture called “jalapeño contacts,” I’m telling you. So do your best to avoid that issue all together.

That being said, the first part is easy. Combine the first nine ingredients into a large bowl and mix them up. Let this sit for a while so you get the best possible flavoring.

Grill the chicken breasts while coating them with the soy sauce-brown sugar mixture.

Next, mix together the soy sauce and the brown sugar until the brown sugar is dissolved. Put the chicken breasts on the grill and brush them with the soy sauce-brown sugar mixture as they cook. I used a George Foreman-type grill to grill my chicken breasts, but I’m sure cooking them on a real grill would be better (even though the George Foreman is a lean mean fat-reducing grilling machine, but whatever). I ended up making more of the sauce and adding it to the chicken, just to add more flavor.When those are grilled, you’re done! It’s really that easy, and this meal turns out to be healthy and tastes really fresh.I ended up making this meal for a bunch of my best friends, and I have to say that food tastes better with people you love. More than anything else while writing this column, I’ve learned that cooking isn’t all about making something delicious, but about the joy that is created when you finally finish cooking a dish, the laughter that comes when you fail and the conversation that happens over a good plate of food. So have a good summer MSU, and thanks for great times, bad dishes, good friends and good food.

Bon appetit!

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