mediterranean quinoa and chicken salad

Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa SaladLast week, we headed down to the Outer Banks with some friends for a week of relaxing fun in the sun.  We spent the week hanging out in the sun, surf fishing, playing games and, of course, eating.  While we did pretty well in terms of dinners, planning group meals every night, when it came to lunches and snacking I still probably ate more than I normally would.  When we got back home, I figured a nice healthy dinner was in order – enter this Mediterranean quinoa and chicken salad!

This salad is perfect for lunches for the week or for a light, easy dinner.  The flavors blend together perfectly, and it packs plenty of protein between the chicken and the quinoa.  To keep things simple, I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded up the meat from that, although you could certainly cook your own chicken breasts instead.  Boil the quinoa and chop up some veggies, mix it all together and you’re good to go!

Before we get to the recipe, I thought I’d share some fun pics from our vacation.  Here’s a hilarious shot of Amber, who generally HATES to be held against her will, but was so tired from running around the beach that she just couldn’t help herself:

Amber tired beach

And then here are some gorgeous shots from our lovely and talented friend Rebecca over at Rebecca Simeone Designs, taken our last night on the beach.  I can’t wait to get some newborn photos taken by her!

ALI 2

ALI 1Thanks so much for the beautiful photos Becca! On that note, on to the recipe…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed (can also substitute 1/3 cup crumbled feta)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, chicken broth and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low (keeping the broth at a simmer) and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until nearly all the broth is absorbed.  Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Once cooled, mix in the chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella.  Pour the olive oil and lemon over the salad and mix to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Store in the refrigerator; the salad tastes great warm or cold.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: Adapted from Skinnytaste

 

 

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