A few weeks ago on Twitter, Diana professed her love for quinoa (#quinoaqlub). It got me thinking about how much I love quinoa (see here, here, here, here, here...you get the picture), but it's been approximately six months since I have cooked with it. I knew I had to change that especially when I saw all the awesome sounding quinoa dishes people were coming up with. As I mentioned the other day, I split a basket of figs with Mary. Some went in to that amazing tart and the rest went in to this salad. To make the salad a bit heartier, I added some cubes of cooked chicken and to make it prettier (and healthier) I added chopped spinach and pomegranate seeds. It was the perfect bridge of late summer into fall, at least when it comes to food. I didn't want the dressing to overwhelm the fruit flavors so I only added a couple of splashes of balsamic and a small drizzle of oil. My only problem was that I overcooked the quinoa a bit because it my first time using my mini stove and I wasn't sure about the controls. Regardless, this salad came together quickly and easily and it was a wonderfully satisfying lunch.
Quinoa Salad with Figs, Pomegranates, Spinach and Chicken
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
4-5 chicken tenders, cut into chunks
1-2 handfuls figs, sliced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper
Lightly season this chicken with salt and pepper and cook in a bit of olive oil in a medium skillet until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa to a boil with 1 cup of water. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, chicken, figs and spinach. Season lightly with balsamic vinegar, a bit more oil if desired and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped with pomegranate seeds.