I’m sure most of you have heard of quinoa and all of the benefits it has for your diet. It’s considered a superfood because it’s a whole grain that’s high in fiber & protein. It’s also gluten-free. Quinoa is a tiny grain that cooks up like rice and has a mild, nutty flavor and a light, fluffy texture similar to couscous. You can find it next to other grains in health-food stores and your supermarket.
I’ll be honest, I don’t eat quinoa enough. I’ve had a box of it sitting in my pantry since this summer. Luckily, it doesn’t go bad.
Since I made Creamy Goat Cheese & Chicken Risotto last night, I wanted an easy meal that doesn’t require me standing over a stove. And some nights, I just want a salad. A fully loaded salad, yet not a calorie bomb.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post I’m going to use the same 4 ingredients in all of my meals this week — Chicken, goat cheese, roasted red peppers and mushrooms. I think these elements will go great in a salad, but I wanted something heartier to go with it besides a bag of mixed salad greens. Then I had a “Ding! Ding! Ding” moment. I should finally use that box of quinoa in my salad.
I’m soooo glad I did! This salad was awesome! The quinoa brings a fun texture to the dish. It’s not as mushy as couscous but not as firm as rice. I added the veggies & cooked chicken towards the end of cooking the quinoa, so they stayed crisp. I ate this salad warm, but it can also be eaten cold. I had the cold version today for lunch. I added some additional lemon, olive oil and S&P. It was really good! Another option for this salad is add it to your favorite tortilla wrap — then you have a sandwich wrap!
Quinoa Salad with Chicken & Veggies (makes 3 cups of quinoa salad)
- 2 cups of chicken broth or water
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1/2 cooked chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 roasted red pepper, diced
- 4 mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbs goat cheese
- Mixed salad greens
- In a saucepan, combine broth and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover the saucepan. Let the quinoa cook for 10-15 minutes.
- When the quinoa is cooked, add in the chicken, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, olive oil & lemon to the saucepan. Mix well and taste. Add salt & pepper if needed.
- Add goat cheese and fold into the salad.
- Place salad greens on your plate and top with quinoa. Add additional goat cheese if you like. (I did!)