Thursday, March 27, 2014

thai chicken quinoa salad

We first tried this salad at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house. It is so delicious! Ever since I have been planning to recreate it. Here is is: full of flavor and color and packed with protein.

2 chicken breasts (unless you want a vegetarian version)
2 or more cups cooked quinoa
2 cups cabbage, coarsely shredded
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup diced cucumber
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup carrot, grated
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (extra for garnish if desired)
1/2 cup peanuts
for the dressing:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (more or less to taste)
2 Tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
1 1/2  Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey or agave
1/3 cup soy sauce (I use Bragg liquid amenos)
2 tsp grated ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
juice of 1 lime (plus some wedges for serving)
water to thin, if necessary

1. Cook quinoa: place about 1.5 cups, soaked and rinsed, in a pot with almost 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until water is absorbed. Add more water if quinoa is still crunchy. Let sit for a few minutes then fluff with fork. Let cool.
2. Drizzle some olive oil in a baking dish. Place chicken breasts on top and turn over to lightly coat with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350ยบ for about 25 minutes, turning halfway through, until no longer pink inside. Let cool and shred.
3. Combine chicken, quinoa, cabbage, onion, cucumber, pepper, carrot, and cilantro.
4. Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss some with salad and leave extra for serving. Top with nuts and serve with extra dressing and lime wedges for an extra squeeze of flavor.

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