You think I'd invited the soccer team over for my recipe this week, because it's protein packed and can feed an entire team. In addition to the protein that's so great for athletes, this recipe would also be good to share with friends that have a new baby or friends that could just use a little support and love of a nice meal from a good friend.
Let me tell you about what I love about some of these ingredients in my quinoa salad with chicken before I get into the recipe.
- Quinoa: It's a complete protein that provides you with all 9 amino acids and it's gluten free. So why the chicken then? Well I'll be honest. I usually share recipes that everyone in my family loves to eat. No matter how I've prepared it, my kids just don't like the texture of quinoa. I'm not going to stop trying, but I'm also going to make sure they're getting their protein.
- Black beans: My kids loved the black beans in the salad and I love it because they're high in iron, along with folic acid and protein. Get why this recipe is protein packed?!
- Bell pepper and lime juice: Love the Vitamin C I get to boost my family with during cold and flu season.
- Ginger: Excellent anti-inflammatory. I was just introduced to using it in my scrambled eggs and now I more bravely trying to add it to as many recipes as possible.
- Coconut oil: You knew I wasn't going to leave this one out. It's heart healthy, improving cholesterol ratios, and can improve metabolism.
In case this isn't enticing enough, the added benefit is that you can make enough to feed a party in 30 minutes (as long as you have the black beans cooked ahead of time or you're using canned beans). Healthy meal to make a crowd happy in half an hour, yes please! Hope you share the LOVE this Valentine's Day!
Quinoa Salad with Chicken
1 chicken breast per person
Salt and pepper
1 box quinoa
2 cups of cooked black beans or 1 14 oz. can drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked and cooled
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp Hawaiian or Alaea salt
2 1/2 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup coconut oil, brought to liquid form
- Prep your salad items that need dicing, cook frozen corn kernels, and reheat pre-cooked black beans.
- To cook quinoa, use a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, pound each chicken breast to 1/4-1/2 inch for fast cooking. Season with salt and pepper and grill until cooked.
- Combine all ingredients in the dressing together in a blender, except for the coconut oil. Once blended smooth, slowly add the coconut oil to combine.
- Once quinoa is cooked, place in a large serving bowl, add 1 tbsp lime juice and mix. Then add all other salad ingredients and mix until there's an even distribution. Once combined add the dressing slowly, mixing in between to make sure all parts are covered and absorbed.
- Top with chicken or serve on the side.