Monday, August 5, 2013

Chicken, Berry, & Quinoa Salad

How is your Monday going? Things here aren't too bad. All the meals are prepped for the week along with healthy snacks to take back to work with me. Yup, my summer break is officially over 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. I've already been back for a couple meetings, but my mind just feels foggy when it comes to thinking about the whirlwind to come. I can't seem to get that song, "Back to life, back to reality," out of my head. Summer went by incredibly too quickly this year. At least I have the leftovers from this salad to keep my energy and spirits up. Maybe it will even help with this mind fog thing too. I can only hope.

This is a recipe do-over from last spring. You can find the original recipe by clicking below. Here, I've added blue berries for an additional antioxidant boost, a bit of quinoa for a healthier carbohydrate, and doubled the dressing which also serves as a marinade for the chicken. My Chicken, Berry, and Quinoa Salad will give you the energy you need to keep going throughout the day.

Chicken, Berry, and Quinoa Salad

For the dressing and marinade:

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 gallon sized resealable plastic bag
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup balsamic dressing, divided (see above)
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1 cup cooked quinoa

To make the salad dressing and marinade: Blend all ingredients together in an electric blender or immersion blender until smooth.

To make and assemble the salad: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. While the grill heats, place the chicken and 1/2 cup of the dressing mixture into the bag. Seal the bag and shake until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for 12 minutes. With tongs, remove the chicken from the bag and place on the grill. Discard the marinade. Grill for 6-8 minutes. Turn and grill for 6-8 minutes more or until a meat thermometer stuck on one of the breasts reads 165 degrees. Remove from the grill. Set aside and rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1-inch strips.

Meanwhile, mix together the romaine lettuce, basil, mint, and parsley in a large serving bowl. Divide the mixture evenly over 4 plates. Top each plate with 2 tablespoons of the red onion, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup strawberries, and 1/4 cup quinoa, one sliced chicken breast. Serve with the remaining balsamic dressing.

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