Monday, November 25, 2013

Chicken Quinoa Salad

I crave Mexican food pretty much everyday. Unfortunately, the husband doesn't share my obsession. This salad was the perfect compromise; enough Mexican flavors for me without being too much for him. He's usually doesn't like bird food {salads} for dinner, but this one got his seal of approval.
I work late a few nights a week and need quick and easy meals. I was able to get this started before I left for work and just assemble when I got home. 
Quick, easy, and yummy!


Chicken Quinoa Salad 

Crock Pot Chicken *This chicken would be great for tacos too

Adapted from here

1½ lbs. boneless & skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. jar of salsa
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn kernels (drained and rinsed)
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (add more if you like food spicier and less if you don't)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced (I was lazy and used 2 tsp. of minced garlic from a jar)
1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • Place chicken in crock pot and top with black beans, corn, garlic, seasonings, and salsa. Give a quick stir.
  •  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. 
  • Shred chicken with two forks


  cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
  • Rinse quinoa well*
  • Combine quinoa and broth** and bring to a boil uncovered.
  • Once it’s boiling reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

*This is a really important step. The seeds are coated with saponins, which can cause a bitter unpleasant taste. Once you rinse this goes away. Most quinoa is rinsed before packaging, but it’s always safe to rinse again.
**Use any kind of broth you have or prefer. I always cook quinoa in broth instead of water. Broth adds more flavor and adding flavor wherever you can is good :) 

Assemble the salad

  • Start with lettuce of choice and layer with quinoa and then chicken. 
  • Top with whatever garnishes you like: cheese, salsa, green onions, sour cream (I substitute plain greek yogurt)
  • Serve and enjoy!

I made the quinoa while I was getting everything in the crock pot. Once it was done I put it in the fridge so I didn't have to cook when I got home. I actually served the quinoa cold, but you could definitely heat it up before assembling.
If you've never had quinoa before give it a try! While it resembles a grain, it's not, it's a complete protein and naturally gluten free. If you don't feel adventurous or if you just don't like quinoa rice would be a good substitute.

Hope you enjoy!

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1 comment:

  1. Yum sis this looks great! If you ever need a Mexican fix come see us in sc....Micah would eat it every night if he could! (And I wouldn't argue!)


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