Quinoa – Grilled Chicken Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta
(Quinoa haters, you have been warned.)
I have had an amazing week! I got our CSA share from Butterbean Community Farm yesterday and proceeded to grill the squash, carrots and onions. I had some chicken marinating in the fridge that I grilled, and some quinoa that I had boiled a few days before for no reason. A block of sheep milk feta from Capri Cheese called to me, and a cool, refreshing cucumber was waiting to be sliced.
Today, after working all morning, I threw together a delicious impromptu salad–quinoa, cucumber chunks, grilled veggies and chicken topped with feta, fresh dill and parsley. I dressed it up with a olive oil, balsamic, honey and mustard and sat on my deck and savored. each. bite.
Why, you ask, why is it so amazing that I made a salad for lunch? Or perhaps you are still asking why I ruined it with quinoa. But probably if you are a quinoa hater, you have already stopped reading this.
It is amazing because the food was cooked and ready to make into a delicious and stress-free creation. Normally I am grabbing chips, stuffing mouthfuls of salsa into my mouth with said chips while I start cutting vegetables for a dinner that was supposed to be ready an hour ago. Normally, I have 2 young kids around the house that demand snacks, dessert, treats, snacks and more treats while I am trying to make said dinner. Usually that dinner becomes the next day’s dinner and we all eat chips, and frozen veggie burgers preceded by clandestine treats.
But this week my kids are at–camp! Yes. Do I sound too happy? Let me tone that down a bit. MY KIDS ARE AT CAMP!! I miss them, yes. But I also love to see my clean table still clean and clear in the morning. I love that I have time to cook, prep and create delicious meals, when I want to. I love that my husband and I can finish sentences when we talk during dinner. Or not talk at all. I will be happy to have the munchkins back, eating my food with great pleasure, leaving dishes on the table, dropping crumbs where I just swept. But for now, I will enjoy my salad. And the cherry pie I baked yesterday, too. And I will even take time to write about it.
Summer Quinoa-Chicken Salad with Grilled Veggies and Feta (for two)
2 cup cooked quinoa
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 chicken breast, cooked (see below) and cut into chunks
1.5 cups roasted summer vegetables such as carrots, onion, summer squash, fingerlings (roast in olive oil and salt)
4-6 tbsp crumbled feta
fresh dill, parsley minced
salt and pepper
your favorite dressing
1. Cook chicken – Marinate chicken in olive oil, garlic and basil for at least 1 hour.
Grill at about 375 for about 20 minutes (10 each side) until chicken is cooked through – don’t eat raw, pink chicken. That’s my only rule.
Let cool about 20 minutes, then place in fridge until ready to use.
2. Assemble salad – place all ingredients in a bowl and toss together, adjusting proportions to your liking.
3. Sit outside and stare at the flowers, or talk to your friend or lover while you savor each bite.
You might even learn that you like quinoa.