Chicken Quinoa Salad

Chicken Quinoa (1 of 2) Chicken Quinoa (2 of 2)

Overwhelming. That’s how life feels right now. It’s all very, very good things. Just all the good things, all at once. Beautiful weather. Delicious food. Lots of work. Lots of catering. Lots of family and friends. Lots of planning. Preparing. Dreaming. And not a terrible lot of sleeping. But lots of trying to fit in both the necessary and the valuable.

Sneaking out to the farm to pick marionberries with my husband. Somehow managing to meet up with my best friends for an afternoon of catching up. Fitting in a few chapters of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series before falling asleep with the book in my hands. Finding time to slip into the backyard with a glass of pink wine and a salad inspired by a favorite from Red Hills Market.

We’ve been subsisting on grain-based salads lately. With the bounty coming from our garden and our weekly CSA share, we’ve had endless options for delicious, healthy salads. And there is nothing better than coming home late to a fridge full of decent things to eat. Especially when this heat zaps all motivation to turn on any sort of cooking device.

In the back of my mind, I’ve already started to long for fall, dreaming of slower days and more time to catch up on everything. But sitting on our back patio the other night, eating this fresh salad and sipping my glass of Rose, I scolded myself for thinking that way. Even though this summer feels like so very much, it’s been more than I ever could have imagined. And that’s worth celebrating.

Chicken Quinoa Salad
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, rough chop
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Cook quinoa (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water in a saucepot, cover and bring to a boil, turn to simmer, cook 20-25 minutes until done, fluff with a fork and stir in 1 Tbsp butter and a pinch of salt).
  2. Chop tomatoes, basil and onion. Roast hazelnuts in oven at 375 for 5-7 minutes until skin comes off easily.
  3. Make dressing and once quinoa is cooled, mix together.
  4. We grilled our chicken breasts with just olive oil, s&p, but they can be prepared any way. Chop into cubes and stir into salad.
*We grilled some broccoli to eat with this salad and it was a perfect companion.


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