Quinoa Salad with Chicken

Sometimes I can be a know-it-all.

Sometimes I will perform a task completely out of logical order, and against stated advice, in an attempt to get it done fast.  There are directions, sure, but it's safe to say I'll probably blow right past 'em.

Because who knows how to do things better than I do?  Heh.

Case 1:  This week, my husband and I spent Monday and Tuesday evenings (after gym time and cooking dinner) assembling and cleaning our new dining room furniture.  Relaxing weeknight?  I maniacally laugh at you.

Picture a kid's enthusiasm after three cups of coffee on Christmas Day in Disney World as I ran up and down the stairs rescuing our wedding china from the guest room closet it's been forced to inhabit since we got married.  The china cabinet was still cold from the delivery truck, and the dining room walls are still missing a coat of paint, but there was no stopping me.

"Shouldn't we wait until we've finished painting before we put anything fragile in this thing...?" - Calm, Logical Husband

Case 2:  Tonight I set out to make quinoa salad with chicken, a new recipe that I pulled from Fitness Magazine.  Lean and nutritious, obvi, but probably also pretty easy and straightforward to make.  Cook chicken, cook quinoa, make dressing, slap it all together.

Clooooose.  Apparently, this salad is supposed to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes after assembly so that the delicious flavors have time to infuse into the quinoa.  Otherwise you just have a soupy mess.  No one will eat a soupy mess.

"Shouldn't you have read me before you started cooking?" - Quinoa Salad with Chicken recipe

Sometimes I am hasty.  Sometimes I am not so humble.  I am the queen of learning things the hard way, which can be a blessing in disguise, because it's then that I'm reminded to slow down, to accept advice from others, and to admit that I don't, in fact, know it all.

If you take nothing else away from this post, take this at least:  I really hope you try this winning recipe for oven-baked chicken over a tangy and healthy quinoa salad.  And if you do, I recommend you read the entire recipe before you get started.  Just a good life lesson in general, my friends.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Adapted from Fitness Magazine
Yields 4 servings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 1/2 c water
 3/4 c quinoa
2 scallions, chopped
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c red onion, chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c tomato, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray.  Cook the chicken for approximately 30 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

While the chicken cooks, fill a small saucepan with the water, and add the quinoa.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the scallions, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, mustard, and oil.

Mix in the red onion, parsley, and tomato.  Add the quinoa, and toss to coat.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and the quinoa to absorb some of the liquid.

To serve, top a heaping pile of quinoa salad with grilled chicken.


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Finn hates you

Joanne said...

(a) I have that same EXACT bag and brand of quinoa sitting on my shelves. Fate? I think so.

(b) I am similarly the queen of rushing into things and NOT reading recipes beforehand. Marinading? Letting flavors meld? That doesn't happen around here. Oh well. Someday I'll learn.

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