Thursday, June 20, 2013
Chicken Salad with Quinoa, Mango Chutney and Avocado
Every once in a while a dish comes together so unexpectedly wonderful that sharing is a must. This Quinoa and Chicken Salad features some of my favorite ingredients and last night, became a dinner the entire family enjoyed.
While quinoa has become an all time favorite ingredient of mine, my family has been a little slower on the uptake. Frequently looking at my concoctions with a, "No thanks... I think I'll have something else" attitude, they haven't really embraced the ancient grain (actually a seed) like I have. Enter a little education** along with a dose of peer pressure and lately they have become more accepting, even mentioned that this salad is welcome any day I'd like to make it.
Protein packed with the quinoa/chicken combo, nutrients achieved an even higher level with the addition of a perfectly ripe California avocado. Adding jicama for a crunchy texture, a dressing flavored with mango chutney rounded out the picture.
Perhaps not the most beautiful dish in town, Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Mango Chutney makes up for it with flavor.
Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney and Quinoa
Versatile and easy to put together, this salad is ideal for a summer picnic, jazz in the park or simply as a light meal by the pool. Change up the quinoa ingredients to suit your taste. Chopped mangoes would work beautifully as would halved grapes.
2 cups prepared quinoa (see your package for directions)
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs scallions
1/2 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs olive or avocado oil
2 Tbs Vinegar (I used Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar)
2 Tbs Mango Chutney (I used Trader Joe's Mango Ginger Chutney)
Salt as desired
chopped prepared chicken (I used leftover grilled chicken)
3 Tbs Greek yogurt
3 Tbs Mango Chutney
torn mint leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place the prepared quinoa into a medium bowl and add the avocado, scallions and jicama. Mix the oil, vinegar and chutney in a small bowl, whisking to combine. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix gently. Chill until ready to use.
Prepare the topping. Mix the Greek Yogurt and Chutney together, and set aside. Chill if not using right away.
To serve, spoon the quinoa onto a plate and top with the prepared chicken. Top with a few tablespoons of the yogurt mixture and sprinkle with torn mint leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.
We found this recipe to serve 3 healthy portions or 4 light portions.
**Benefits of Quinoa:
A native to the Andean regions of Peru, quinoa is truly an "ancient grain" (though it is in reality a seed) with a near 9,000 year history. Once called "The Gold of the Incas", quinoa is not only high in protein, but a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. In addition to protein, the tiny seed is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, potentially making quinoa valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Add the fact that quinoa was used by the Inca Warriors to increase stamina and I think I have a winner.