Quinoa and Spiced Chicken Salad

Quinoa & Spiced Chicken Salad.png

This is the ultimate trans-seasonal salad that feels like a proper meal regardless of the weather. You have protein, carbs, good fats and flavour galore from the fresh herbs, juicy veg and wonderful warmth from the spices all in one bowl.

Think of this recipe as a blueprint you can easily create different, fun flavour combinations with. Some of my favourites include;

  • Swap the chicken for grilled, sliced mushrooms cooked with garlic and chilli
  • Crowd in more veg such as warm broccoli, snow peas and grated/spiralised carrot
  • Add in some fresh, homemade pineapple chutney (recipe coming soon)
  • Trade the spinach for massaged kale or rocket
  • Take your chicken on a globe trotting adventure by swapping the spices for –
    • Chilli, soy and toasted sesame oil
    • Garlic, ginger, lemon and honey
    • Fresh Basil, garlic and balsamic vinegar

This salad also travels well and is super tasty chilled, fresh from the fridge. Perfect for packed lunches at work.

Serves 4 

What You Need

Spiced Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs fillets or 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • Olive oil/ melted coconut oil/ melted ghee

Salad

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Dressing and Toppings

  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Small handful of almonds
  • Sprig of coriander

What You Do

  1. Slice your chicken into mouthful size chunks.
  2. Rub the spices, salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil into the chicken and leave to marinate in a bowl for as long as possible. Overnight in the fridge is best but while you prep the other ingredients works fine too.
  3. Cook your quinoa until soft. I do this in the microwave in a Tupperware rice cooker using the absorption method of 1 parts quinoa to two parts water.
  4. Prepare the salad.
    1. Thinly slice the red onion and leave aside.
    2. Slice the capsicum into small cubes and leave aside.
    3. Slice the cucumber  into thin, half moons and leave aside.
  5. Using either a food processor, mortar and pestle or mezzaluna knife crush your almonds into small, rubbley shards and leave aside.
  6. To make your dressing use a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle. Add the peeled garlic clove, basil leaves, the juice of 1/2 lemon and a pinch of salt into your device of choice and blitz, adding olive oil until your dressing is at a gloopy, pouring consistency.
  7. Grill your chicken pieces in a pan until cooked through, adding the remainder of the lemon juice to deglaze the pan.
  8. When the chicken is cooked, assemble the salad into separate bowls (I like my salads all mixed in together rather than segmented) with spinach on the bottom, then quinoa, chicken, and other veg on top. Add scoops of avocado, drizzle of dressing and a smattering of crushed almonds and coriander leaves on top.
  9. Grab a fork and dig in!

 

Alicia x

 

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