Yesterdays adventure lead me to make Quinoa salad with chicken, avocado and oranges (January 2012 Sunset). I have only had quinoa once before, at my brother’s house during a summer get together. *Quinoa (kin-wa) is a protein rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetable like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas”.
I tend to buy magazines with covers that appeal to me and this issue of Sunset had a bowl of something wonderful on the cover with the title, Feel Good Dinners. Now, who wouldn’t want that? This recipe was under the section Hearty Salads.
Now, I feel I must confess this before we get much further . . . I made the Quinoa salad with chicken, avocado and oranges without the avocado. I know, I know but I’m just not a fan. It’s a textural thing. It also holds a handful of odd childhood dinnertime memories that I’d rather not get into. But I LOVE guacamole, go figure.
I happened to be at Fred Meyer and found quinoa in the health food section. I would imagine Top Foods would have it too. Highly doubt Safeway would have it since they don’t know what risotto is, let alone carry Arborio rice.
The quinoa was really easy to make, one-cup quinoa to two cups of water. Boil and then simmer covered for 15 minutes (according to the package directions). I tinkered the recipe to fit my needs. I stripped the chicken from a store bought roasted chicken and simply added the garlic, lime zest and spices to the meat. Add limejuice, salt, pepper, oranges and the chicken to the quinoa. Voila. Healthy and tasty!
I shall try to get better at taking photos.
A rice steamer works great for quinoa, and takes the guesswork out of steaming. Costco has the best value we’ve seen for quinoa, too. Would love to get this recipe from you!