100 Days of EarthFit- Day 3: Playing with Flavors

Already I am deviating from what I intended to discuss on this day.  But as I was cooking lunch, and came across an interesting “dilemma”.  I was making a favorite bulk recipe for Quinoa and Chicken Salad, and I was trying different flavors to see how I could change the recipe up a little.  I had some oranges leftover from last week, and I was actually going to try the recipe with orange segments mixed in, because I love playing with flavors, but when I went to cook the quinoa, I noticed the package was mushroom and herb flavored.  Not to mention the chicken I was using was pre-seasoned.  Suddenly, the idea of orange mixed with mushroom and seasoning wasn’t all that appetizing.  After a couple moments of consideration, I opened the fridge and grabbed the apples left from last week.a-new-season-l-playing-with-flavors-and-apple-L-FzBesv

I figured the apples would work because there are several savory recipes that use apples to provide just a hint of sweetness and they usually work really well.  And it worked well in this case, too.  I also realized that using apples was more of a seasonal and local choice of fruit for me.  So, I enjoyed it even more.  Playing with flavors really payed off for me in this instance.

The original recipe for the Quinoa and Chicken Salad calls for grapes.  And in a plain quinoa, or even couscous salad, grapes are absolutely perfect!  But switching things up to include seasonal flavors is something I enjoy doing tremendously.

Here’s my recipe for Quinoa and Chicken Salad:

  • 1 package, or 2 cups Quinoa or Couscous
  • 2 cups cubed and grilled chicken
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  1. Prepare quinoa or couscous according to package, or if using bulk items, bring quinoa and 4 Cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Let simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.
  2. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, chicken, grapes, and almonds
  3. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to mixture and stir thoroughly to disperse consistently.

Makes 4 large portioned servings

Nutritional Information:
Per serving (for 4 servings)
Calories: 428
Fat: 10.8 (don’t be too scared of this number, almonds are a GREAT fat source)
0.4 g saturated fat, 0 g polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fats
Carbohydrates: 46
4.2 g fiber, 8.5 g of sugars
Protein: 37

quinoa and chicken salad

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