Bird seed (how my dad refers to quinoa) might be one of my favorite grains. Quick cooking, simple to prepare and a great addition to any meal. I love a huge spoonful of quinoa plopped on top of a veggie packed salad, I love quinoa stirred into soups for a little extra texture, heck I will even top quinoa with fresh fruit for breakfast! However, I have to say my all time favorite way to enjoy quinoa is as a base for a veggie packed grain salad! Seriously, one of my favorite things to do Sunday night is to whip up a delicious veggie packed quinoa salad that I can enjoy all week long! Quinoa is pretty much a blank slate, all you need are your favorite veggies, a little protein, light dressing and a few fresh herbs for flavor, and voila you have a great salad!
For this simple grain salad I used a tri Colored quinoa as the base and tossed the cooked quinoa with fresh pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. Fresh basil and adds a great flavor kick, and the grilled chicken provides good for you protein. The entire salad is then drizzled with a lemon honey dressing! Yum! Easy, fresh, and clean!
Summer Quinoa Salad with Fresh Basil and Lemon Honey Dressing
1 1/2 Tablspoon Honey
Zest From one Lemon
4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Minced Garlic Clove
1 Handful Fresh Basil Roughly Chopped
1 Cup Chopped Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Medium Cucumber Chopped
1/2 Red Pepper Chopped
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
2 Chicken Breast
2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
Salt, Pepper, Garlic
1- Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and garlic (both sides) heat grill and grill chicken until cooked through (I used a George Forman).
2- While chicken cools, combine quinoa, veggies and basil. Toss until well combined.
3- Cut chicken into chunks and toss into salad.
4- In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper to salad to taste. Best if let salad sit in the fridge for hour before serving!