How could I not? It’s been 25 seconds since I’ve posted a dinner salad recipe, so obviously I’m behind schedule.
By the way, I'm not even going to go into the random run-on story about how the other day, while feeding my child AGAIN, I sat in front of the TV for 35 straight minutes staring literally at nothing but the double doors of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London as E! News' Giuliana Rancic speculated on the status of Kate Middleton's uterus and hairstyle in the same breath while the world waited for the Royal Couple to come out and introduce their spanky new baby to the world. 35 minutes. And how while doing this I legit thought about the kind of pressure this chick is constantly under and how if it were me I'd probably cry and sweat a lot and then just CRACK. But I’m not going to go into all of that right now.
I have no idea why I just typed that. Or what that has to do with anything. Or why I haven't backspaced. Let's move on.
You guys, this salad...
Cooked quinoa, chunks of lean chicken, cute little corns and chickpeas, fresh cilantro karate chops to the mouth, and spinach! And barbecue sauce! I mean, good grief.
"I'm so excited about this salad I could scream!" - said no one ever. Until just now!
Seriously, this is so good. It's like a summer barbecue in your dish without all the grill-cleaning and fingertip singeing. My major recommendation? Do yourself a favor and use good quality barbecue sauce. It's the only dressing component to this salad, so if you use the cheap stuff that you don't love this salad will be cheap and unlovely. Fact.
I'd really like to say this is the last main dish, all-in-one-veggie-meat-grains salad I'm going to make for awhile, but I can't make that promise. So promise me that you won't have an F5-level freak attack if I do, k?
Oh hey...eat this!
Barbecue Chicken Salad
Corn, Roasted Red Peppers,
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 red onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 c barbecue sauce (Be sure to use a kind you really love!)
1 c quinoa, cooked
15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 c bottled roasted red peppers, chopped
1 c sweet corn kernels, fresh or frozen/thawed
3 c baby spinach
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add 1 tbs of the oil. When hot, add the onion and stir to spread out and form an even layer. Season well with salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let caramelize for 10 minutes until soft and brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the onions and garlic to a separate bowl, and set aside.
Season the chicken well with the onion powder, paprika, and salt/pepper. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and add the remaining tbs of oil. When hot, add the chicken in a single layer, and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the barbecue sauce, and stir to combine.
Add in the reserved onions and garlic, cooked quinoa, chickpeas, red peppers, corn, spinach, and most of the cilantro, leaving some extra for garnish. Stir to combine all the ingredients with the barbecue sauce and heat through.
Serve warm or room temperature in big bowls and top with remaining cilantro.