Flavor your New Year cooking with apple and avocado salads

PHOTO: Erling Wu-Bower, executive chef at Chicagos Pacific Standard Time, shares a recipe for avocado salad.PlayABC News
WATCH Acclaimed chef shares make-at-home salads, hummus

Just a few days into January, with New Year's resolutions going strong, now is the time to ramp up your healthy cooking.

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Erling Wu-Bower, executive chef at Chicago's Pacific Standard Time, proves that cooking fresh, healthy ingredients does not have to be bland.

(MORE: Rocco DiSpirito's recipes for healthier cooking in 2019)

Wu-Bower, a James Beard-nominated chef, joined "Good Morning America" Friday to share three recipes that include everything from avocados to apples and hummus.

PHOTO: Pacific Standard Time executive chef Erling Wu-Bower shares recipes on Good Morning America, Jan. 4, 2019. ABC
Pacific Standard Time executive chef Erling Wu-Bower shares recipes on "Good Morning America," Jan. 4, 2019.

Try these in your kitchen in 2019.

Avocado salad

PHOTO: Erling Wu-Bowers avocado salad. ABC
Erling Wu-Bower's avocado salad.

Makes four servings.

Salad ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa

2 Belgian endive, core removed cut 1 inch cross-wise

1 blood orange, skin removed, cut into 1/4-inch thick pinwheels

1 English cucumber, marinated (recipe follows)

1/4 cup buttermilk vinaigrette (recipe follows)

A few leaves of basil cut into 1/4-inch strips

Sunflower seeds, toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, until golden brown

Salt, pepper, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil to taste

Cucumber marinade ingredients:

1 English cucumber sliced into 1/6-inch rounds

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch chili flake

Salt to taste

Buttermilk vinaigrette ingredients

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon shallot minced

1 tablespoon white soy sauce

1/4 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste


About an hour before you want to serve, mix all of the ingredients except the cucumber in a bowl.

Once the sugar and salt dissolve, fold in the cucumber and let sit at room temperature.

To make the buttermilk vinaigrette ingredients, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

To serve:

Halve, seed and peel the avocado, slice into 1/2-inch slices and spread evenly on a serving platter. Season with salt, pepper, the juice of half a lemon and extra-virgin olive oil.

In a bowl, mix the cucumber (and a tiny bit of the liquid) with the endive and quinoa. Dress with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice (if needed).

Evenly distribute the mixture over the avocado. Spread the blood orange over the salad, and drizzle the buttermilk vinaigrette over the orange.

Garnish with the sunflower seed and the basil and serve.

Apple salad

PHOTO: Erling Wu-Bowers apple salad. ABC
Erling Wu-Bower's apple salad.

Makes four servings.

3 large honeycrisp apples, cut into cheeks around the core, and cut into 1/3-inch slices
3 stalks of celery, leaves removed and reserved, cut into 1/6-inch crosswise slices
1/2 cup manchego cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grader
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted in a 350 degree wood oven until golden brown
2 tablespoons celery seed-honey vinaigrette (recipe follows)
8 slices good country ham (prosciutto or cooked ham will work work as well)
2-3 sprigs dill, picked

Celery seed-honey vinaigrette ingredients:
1/2 Cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 heaping teaspoon celery seed, lightly toasted in a pan
1/4 cup hazelnut oil (available online or in specialty food stores)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 shallot minced
Salt and pepper to taste

(MORE: Two single moms who each lost half their body weight share secret to success)


Mix all of the ingredients, excluding the oil, in a bowl. Whisk until the honey is dissolved. Whisk in the oil in steady stream.

To serve:

Place all of the ingredients, excluding the ham, dill and vinaigrette, in a bowl.

Mix the vinaigrette well and add about 1/2 cup to the bowl. Gently fold the salad. Season with Salt and pepper to taste.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the salad to a serving dish. Ribbon the ham over the top of the salad and garnish with the dill.

Serve immediately.

How to dress up hummus at home

PHOTO: Erling Wu-Bower’s hummus with chicken. ABC
Erling Wu-Bower’s hummus with chicken.

Makes four servings.

1 cup favorite store bought hummus
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1 roasted chicken breast
2 tablespoons smoked paprika vinaigrette (recipe follows)
10 leaves or so of mint
4-5 sprigs of cilantro
4 pieces of good store bought pita 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season the chicken all around with the salt and the ras el hanout. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.

Place the chicken and the garlic in an ovenproof pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the bird cool and then shred the meat into bite-size pieces.

To serve:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spread in the hummus in a large circle on a serving plate

Place the chicken and the chickpeas in an oven-proof saute pan and place in the oven until the chicken is hot. Remove from the oven and pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables in the pan. Give the contents of the pan a few tosses.

Place the pitas in the oven.

Place the chicken, chickpeas and vinaigrette in the center of the hummus and garnish with the mint and cilantro.

Pull the pitas from the oven and brush with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and place on a platter.

Serve immediately.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Erling Wu-Bower, executive chef at Chicago's Pacific Standard Time.