Warm Chicken Quinoa Salad
I discovered Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) quite some time ago as it is a healthier choice than couscous, rice or noodles (my favorite comfort food). Read more about Quinoa. My husband wanted to start eating more salads and has a healthy appetite. To make them more appealing and filling, I started using warm couscous and eventually replaced it with warm quinoa; this provided more of a more substantial meal and left us both feeling satisfied without being full. It is more than an appetizer but a small amount makes a good pupu and ensures you have something substantial in your stomach before happy hour. When I try to order this in restaurants, they always serve the quinoa (and all other ingredients) cold. I make all kinds of warm salads with different meats and cheeses. This salad is probably our favorite warm salad - maybe because it was the original.
Lettuce of Your Choice - I always uses head lettuce with a mixture of some type of dark greens (spinach, arugula or kale for example)
Chicken (roasted chicken from the store or a couple chicken breasts)
Quinoa (1 cup)
Dressing - blue cheese and EVOO (or dressing of your choice)
Pickled ginger (or Monika's pickled Mango) - condiment for final topping
Crumbled Blue Cheese - condiment for final topping
Make your quinoa first (1 cup with 2 cups of water and salt); bring to a boil then lower and let simmer until all water is evaporated. When done, fluff with a fork, similar to rice.
Dress and toss your salad with the all the ingredient dressing. To keep the fat lower and so the dressing is thinner, I use mostly Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a little bit of Blue Cheese Dressing.
Build your salad with the lettuce first, then add all the ingredients except the quinoa and condiments. Make sure the chicken is warm.
Top the salad with warm quinoa, drizzle with EVOO, then add your condiments.