What’s In Season? – Papaya!

At this time of year in Canada, there isn’t much that is in season. In Hawaii, however, the papaya fruit is ready for picking after a 6-9 month growth period. The papaya harvest is usually during our winter months from January to March and at around $2.00/pound, it’s nice to see a reasonably priced fruit. Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion and has been used by some populations as a meat tenderizer. Zeaxanthin, an antioxidant found in papaya is credited with playing a protective role in eye health, decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Choose a papaya when it is partly or completely yellow in colour and gives slightly to pressure. So what can you do with papaya? Half of a papaya or 140g is about 70 calories of straight carbohydrates and has a Balance Factor of 17. This balances perfectly with chicken. Anniversary Chicken is a delicious dish that is easy to make and can be used the next day for lunch! Enjoy!

Anniversary Chicken

  • Course:  Dinner
  • Balance Factor: -15
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins to cook chicken
  • Servings: 4-6


  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and trimmed
  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled and sliced horizontally
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded and sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • 4-6 chicken breasts, cooked

For Dressing: 

  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 T papaya seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup salad oil (1/4 cup of each olive and safflower oil)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped


  1. Combine ingredients “For Dressing” in a blender and blend well.
  2. Place lettuce on the plate, then layer on a slice or two of chicken, papaya, avocado and onion.
  3. Drizzle dressing over top.

Recipe Notes:

Slice papaya lengthwise first to remove seeds properly.  Peel then place flat side down and slice towards the cutting board.

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