Stage 6 - Chicken Avocado Caprese Salad

As you transition into Stage 6 of the post-surgery meal plan (3 to 6 months after surgery) and you are able to tolerate more foods, try out this recipe!

Servings 8 servings (1 serving = 3 ounces chicken (the size of a deck of cards), ½ cup vegetables, 2 tablespoons quinoa, optional if still hungry)



Dressing/Marinade (this makes extra)

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or agave
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup quinoa cooked
  • 5 cups romaine lettuce washed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup mini mozzarella cheese balls halved
  • 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts drained
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves thinly sliced
  • sea salt and black pepper to season



  • For the marinade/dressing: Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place chicken into a ziplock plastic bag; pour 4 tablespoons of the marinade/dressing onto the chicken, reserving the remaining marinade/dressing for later. Seal the bag and evenly coat chicken in the marinade/dressing. Let marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from plastic bag and discard marinade. Add chicken to the skillet and cook about 7 minutes per side until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Slice chicken into strips. Prepare salad by arranging lettuce and quinoa on a serving platter. Top with avocado slices, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, and sliced chicken. Top with basil strips, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and season with salt and pepper.