Chicken, Parsley and Quinoa Salad

Salad_Tiny_Green_Hands

So: this is one of my favourite meals. It’s SO easy, SO tasty and SO healthy. There are so many variations of it that you can make and it’s not an exact science but more of an evolving love. But you’ll get the idea.

Ingredients:

1 x bunch of parsley (essential)

1 x handful of air-dried currents (essential)

1/2 to 1 cup of lemon juice (essential)

2-3 cups quinoa  (essential)

Handful of chopped or cherry tomatoes (optional)

3 spring onions (optional)

Handful of pepitas (or a something else nutty and crunchy)

1 x grated carrot

3 x chicken tenderloins

 

Instructions:

As mentioned, this recipe is always a work in progress. The things I have marked as “essential” are the ingredients that make me really happy. I would never have thought that currents and parsley go so well together but they do. Of course, if you’re vegetarian you can leave out the chicken or replace it for tofu.

Soak the dried currents in the lemon juice for at least 3 hours or overnight if possible. They will still be sweet but they’ll take on a slightly tarter approach. (If you’re wondering why I said they should be air-dried currents, click here). After a while they’ll look gross (see below) but they’re yummy. When you mix the ingredients, don’t drain the currents. Make sure you pour that sweet/sour lemon juice into the salad. It’s a beautiful pseudo dressing.

Currents_Tiny_Green_Hands

Cook up some quinoa. If you’ve never cooked it before, here are some tips: make sure you wash it thoroughly first (there’s soapy stuff on the outside of it that occurs naturally but isn’t great for us), put some on the stove and cover with water. Treat it like rice or cous cous – it’ll absorb the water and get bigger and softer. You’re aiming for it to be not crunchy but not mushy – like good pasta. Feel free to add or subtract water until it’s just right. (We’re not precious here!)

Quinoa_Tiny_Green_Hands

Chop the parsley roughly. If I have any corriander or mint on hand I usually add a little, but the parsley is supposed to be the hero.

Chopped_Parsley_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

Grate the carrot finely.

Grated_Carrot_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

Wash and chop your spring onions (or scallions of you prefer to call them that).

Spring_Onions_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

Figure out how you want your tomatoes. For this batch, I used tomatoes from the garden so I had a lovely range of them: yellow cherry tomatoes, red romas and a green zebra tomato! I just roughly chopped them.

Tomatoes_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

Grab a handful of pepitas or whatever crunch takes your fancy. I like having some sort of crunchy nut or seed in each salad.

Pepitas_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

By now your salad bowl should be looking something like this:

Pre_Mix_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

As my mum says: “something of every colour”. Because, really, how happy does that picture look? There’s so much yum in that bowl that it’s awesome. Now: cook your chicken/tofu however makes you happy. For this batch my husband had bought tenderloins down at the butcher, so I just lightly fried them, however normally for this salad I’ll use left over roast chicken. If you’re baking/frying/grilling your chicken freshly make sure you cut it up and it’s cooked through the middle well.

As I was preparing this meal I found some baby spinach in the fridge so I laid the salad on top of that and ended up with what’s below.

Salad_Tiny_Green_Hands

 

Last step: eat. Eat, eat, eat. This should be enough for dinner for two or dinner for one and left-overs for lunch tomorrow. If your palate says that the salad is a little dry, add either some more lemon juice or a mix of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. (You won’t need much).

Tiny Change for the Day: Make this salad. It’s yum!

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