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