Chicken Salad with Apple, Pomegranate, and Beets

Dr. Samantha Gray, ND RAc

This boisterously red winter salad is a great option for a healthy and refreshing meal after the holidays. It is also loaded with pomegranate seeds that have been associated with women’s health since antiquity. The herbal principle of the Doctrine of Signatures shows us that when a pomegranate is opened the inside looks like both the ducts of the breast as well as the follicles of the ovary. It appears that nature is showing us what this wonderful food is to be used for and modern day science has verified this ancient wisdom. Pomegranates have the complex ability to both boost low estrogen levels with gentle bio-identical hormones as well as block excess estrogen activity that is so prevalent in perimenopause. This dual action of pomegranate makes it the ideal food for balancing female hormones.  In addition, this “Jewel of Winter” with its very high levels of antioxidants is an excellent food for heart health which can become compromised in women after menopause.


2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon orange zest plus 1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 package (8 ounces) cooked beets, thinly sliced

5 ounces baby arugula or mixed greens (5 cups)

2 red apples, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced

1 cup pomegranate seeds


In a medium pot, combine chicken and enough water to cover by 1 inch; season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook chicken until cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones and thinly slice.

Meanwhile, whisk together orange zest and juice, and oil, season with salt and pepper. Arrange beets on a large platter. Top with greens, chicken, apples, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with orange dressing.


There is a great instructional video on the link below which includes a great tip for how to get pomegranate seeds out with ease.  Tip:  cut the fruit in half and whack the outside with a spoon, the seeds fall out perfectly and your hands stay clean!