Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Last week, my dad emailed me a recipe. My dad never emails me recipes. Like...ever. So, beings he went to all that trouble, I figured I'd do the right thing and make it. It sounded kinda good...but I wasn't sure. See, my dad has what we call refined taste buds. Fried, fatty foods don't appeal to him. He's more a health nut now who only eats amazing tasting healthy foods. Like, you can't get him to eat a plain ole chicken breast. It has to be marinated in this, rubbed in that, and grilled to perfection where the juices are still on the inside etc etc etc. =)

But, see, I get him. I'm the same way. Why waste your time on boring food when there are so many cool combinations and recipes that taste amazing?!

So, off to the store I went in search of a few ingredients I didn't have. And I made the recipe. And..I don't regret it. Well, actually, I kinda do, because now I KNOW I will always need to have grapes and white wine vinegar and shaved almonds on hand at all times. Quinoa and chicken are always a staple around here, but the other things? Not so much. Craig went back three, yes, three times for this stuff. I have one teeny, tiny, serving left for my lunch today. I'm kinda excited for lunch. =)

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes, and Almonds

4-5 chicken tenderloins or 2 chicken breasts, cooked (I marinated in Italian dressing beforehand)
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups quinoa
Salt and pepper to taste
2.5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups green or red grapes, quartered
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted ( I put mine in a large pan and toasted them on med-high)

If you have pre-rinsed quinoa then don't worry but otherwise, rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and a pinch of salt then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Uncover and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking well. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Add chicken, grapes and almonds and toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled. I liked it better after it chilled int he fridge for a while.

P.S. Glenda, I know you're gonna l.o.v.e. this stuff ;-)

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