Friday, August 3, 2012

Chicken Avocado Quinoa salad

I have been wanting to use quinoa for a while now but I just couldn't find the right recipe. But, I finally came across this one and it was delicious! I love quinoa! It is a great substitute for rice and it is one of the only grains that is a complete protein. Quinoa does have a high fat content and so it is advised to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer instead of on the shelf to keep it from going rancid. But, the fat is "good fat," not unsaturaded or trans fat. Now that I've basically given you a lesson on quinoa, lets get to the recipe.

1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
½ onion, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of corn, grilled and removed from cob (or 1 small can niblets)
1 cup shredded chicken
1 large avocado
4 limes
¾ cup fresh cilantro
2 ½ Tbsp agave (sugar works ok too)

I like to cook quinoa in chicken broth. It gives it a little bit more flavor. When cooking quinoa, some people suggest to rinse it, I don't. It usually comes pre-rinsed but some people like to soak it anyway. When cooking quinoa it's good to know that 1 cup raw quinoa makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. To make three cups of cooked quinoa, place one cup raw quinoa and 1.5 cups cold water or chicken broth. Bring the quiona to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn down to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let quinoa sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. Fluff gently with a fork and it's ready to go.

1) In a large bowl, mix onion, black beans, corn, chicken and quinoa together.
2) In a blender, combine the lime juice, cilantro and agave to make the dressing.
3) Cut the avocado in small pieces and toss in dressing. Add avocado to quinoa mixture.
4) Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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