Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Mango Salsa

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Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Mango Salsa
Story and Photos by Cassandra M. Vara

Sometimes it’s hard to retain your savor for flavor when you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.

After all, how can people spice up their dinner without packing on the pounds?

Well, put down those nachos and get up off the couch!

Join Ashley Nicole Reyes, senior Marketing major at St. Mary’s University, as she shows how to turn up the heat while still whittling down the midsection.

Reyes, a San Antonio native and former contender for Miss Fiesta San Antonio, loves exercising, reading, shopping and showing support for her favorite athletic team–the San Antonio Spurs.

Reyes says she chose St. Mary’s as her choice for higher education because of the student-to-faculty ratio, friendly atmosphere and small classroom size.

“The small classroom environment allows for more in-depth conversations and a better overall understanding of the course subject,” she says.

When she’s not studying or cheering in the front row at a Spurs game, Reyes loves to cook because it allows her to explore her creativity.

“Cooking is an art form,” she says. “I love that I can be very expressive with just food.”

Her favorite foods include anything Italian, good steak and fresh sushi.

Exploring her creativity wasn’t the only reason why she discovered her love of cuisine.

Reyes explains that she also began cooking out of necessity. “I love eating healthy and sometimes my family and I just don’t want to eat the same thing.”

Reyes says she sometimes cooks her own dinner since her family’s idea of a healthy meal doesn’t always meet her expectations.

Reyes considers this her favorite dish because “it is quick, easy, and a healthy option that’s still full of flavor.”

She adds that if the dish too spicy, leave out the jalapeño for less intensity.

Or, as Reyes jokingly says when asked for her opinion on the spice factor‚”If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”


  • 2 chicken breast
  • olive oil (roughly 2 oz.)
  • 4 limes
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 pack of cherub tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • small bushel of cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 package of jasmine rice


Wash chicken breasts and pat dry. Set stove to medium heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Season chicken pieces on each side with black pepper, garlic powder and lime juice. With a knife, carve small, diagonal slits into chicken breasts to intensify spices and to help cook quickly. Place chicken breasts in pan and grill for 20 minutes. Turn occasionally and add lime juice as desired. While chicken cooks, prepare package of jasmine rice and mango salsa separately. Dice mangos, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and red onion and place in large bowl, adding juice from two whole limes to the mix. When rice is done and chicken is coated in an even, brown color, assemble the meal. Place a bed of rice on a plate with the chicken breasts along the sides. Take the mango salsa and coat chicken with about four heaping. Slice an avocado and add as garnish on the rice. Makes 1-3 servings.

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