Sunday, September 9, 2012

lemon chicken quinoa salad


 We don't have a cafeteria at my school, but we are allowed to go out into the town for lunch to Chipotle, McDonalds, Papa Johns, Panera (a personal favorite!), and other fast-food places. However, going out to lunch can get quite expensive. That's why I usually bring my lunch to school.

Bringing my lunch doesn't have to be soggy, cold, or depressing.  If I say so myself, this salad is quite the opposite. It's full of fresh herbs and veggies. The quinoa gives it a nice texture and adds a lot of protein to keep me going throughout the day. The lemon dressing and tangy feta cheese make it simply perfect.  I'd take this over an $8 Panera panini anyday!

Do you bring your lunch?
With love,
Erica

Note: this recipe makes a lot, so I like to keep it in the fridge and scoop it out throughout the week.
 
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

10 chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


For the salad:
2 cups quinoa
2 large red bell peppers, diced
5 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup golden raisins, rehydrated in warm water
1 cup  feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped


For the dressing:

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed dried mint
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt



To make the dressing, whisk together everything in a small bowl to blend and set aside in the refrigerator until needed. 
 
For the chicken, add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix together and add the chicken. Stir well to coat, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
 
I like to cook my chicken in the panini maker, but any grill will do. It takes about 5 minutes in the panini maker. 

Cook the quinoa as directed on the box, and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa,  all of the vegetables and drained, re-hydrated raisins. Mix to combine. If not serving immediately at this point, you can refrigerate this mixture until ready to eat, it usually keeps in my refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, toss in the feta cheese and enough dressing to lightly coat. Eat cold or at room temperature and serve with the warm chicken.

Adapted from Un-Deux Senses

9 comments:

  1. Haha we may be the same age but dam my lunch is always some congealed mess ;)
    I should this delicious hint from you!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha -- I often result to almond butter and jelly sandwich when I'm lazy. But this salad makes a BIG batch, so make it once, and you have a delicious lunch for a week :)

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  2. I do bring my lunch! Every day. To work, where most of my other coworkers buy lunch. But it's okay because of days like today where I brought leftovers of this! http://panprinandproprin.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/tomato-and-squash-gratin/

    Quinoa and lemon sound like a delicious combo! I might have to try this, minus the chicken!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That looks like a delicious lunch -- it reminds me of one of my favorites, ratatouille. What are some other things you bring to lunch?

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    2. Yes--I guess it is like ratatouille minus the eggplant! This week has been a lot of leftovers (today is braised cabbage and carrots from last night), but usually I like to bring either a Greek or spinach salad (sunflower seeds, dried cherries, chopped apples and cherry or regular balsamic over spinach is delicious!) and some Greek yogurt and cut fruit with Kashi in a separate container so it doesn't get soggy. Then I assemble my little fruit yogurt parfait and it is possibly nerdy but so yummy!! Or banana bread. And I just eat that all day haha. Do you have any faves?

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  4. I wish I could go off campus for lunch! I get so bored with sandwiches during the school year - I should try this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really should! What kind of sandwiches do you bring to school?

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