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.
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
- 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.
- In a large bowl, mix quinoa, chicken, grapes, and almonds
- Add the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to mixture and stir thoroughly to disperse consistently.
Makes 4 large portioned servings
Per serving (for 4 servings)
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
4.2 g fiber, 8.5 g of sugars