Monday, March 11, 2013

ginger chicken and quinoa salad

We're having an endless summer here in Victoria. Personally I'm quite happy if these hot days last til about oh June! Although, I'm convinced that our beach days are courtesy of climate change and global warming which is not a good thing.

I began this dish marinating the chicken and having no real idea of what I was going to do with it. My husband Pete has a theory "that whatever ingredients are in the fridge want to go in a dish together".
I have to admit, it has taken me a while to believe in Pete's theory but for the most part he is right and this salad is a good example. His theory is firmly based in not wasting a single morsel of food. In our house we love the challenge of coming up with a meal based on a few ingredients that need to eaten rather than buying more food because we don't feel like eating what's there and then seeing food go to waste. The meal is always more satisfying when I know we have made great use of what we have.

For instance there was cooked quinoa in the fridge and plenty of crisp delicious veggies, given the hot weather salad made sense. When it came time to dress the salad I was pondering whether it actually even needed a dressing Pete asked, "Is there any of the yoghurt dip left?" There were about 2 tablespoons leftover from an afternoon snack "Mix it in. It'll be great!" said Pete. He was right.

Ginger chicken and quinoa salad

250 grams organic chicken breast fillets sliced into bite size pieces. (slice long narrow pieces rather than in cubes or chunks)

For the marinade
2-3 cm piece ginger finely grated (depending on how strong you like the ginger flavor)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp braggs (or tamari)
1 tbsp sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Put back in the fridge, for a minimum of an hour or you can prepare the day before you want to use and leave it in overnight.

Melt a knob of butter in a wok and cook chicken quickly over a high heat. Set aside to cool.

For the salad
Use whatever salad ingredients you have on hand and if you don't have quinoa, you could leave it out or substitute with rice or pasta.

12 cherry tomatoes, halved
garden herbs (I used garlic chives and basil)
1 cup sprouts (I used alfalfa and fenugreek)
1/2 red capsicum, sliced finely and chopped into 2 cm sticks
1 small carrot, julienned
1/2 small iceberg or cos lettuce finely sliced
a handful of rocket leaves
2 cups cooked quinoa

2 tbsp natural yoghurt or tzatziki

Combine all ingredients in salad bowl and toss.

We enjoyed this for a beach picnic dinner. I have to admit River and Sol aren't up to eating salads like this, I cut up veggie sticks and they eat those. While we're on the topic of children eating veggies, salad wraps have been a big hit here recently. I lay out the veggie sticks, some mashed avocado in a bowl and chicken, fish or tofu, alongside the wraps and the boys have fun making their own wrap. You could set some of the chicken aside in this recipe or marinate extra so your children can make chicken and salad wraps.

Where are you at with children eating veggies? Any favorite salad combos?


  1. To my absolute delight, my baby girl just loves her greens...broccoli, zucchini and peas being at the top of her list. Last week when we went to the shop, she picked her own broccoli and ate the lot before we were even home! Check out the video of her at Organic Feast's youtube site :-)

  2. Great to hear Cynthia! always encouraging to know there are children out there who relish eating vegetables. I will take a look at the Organic Feast link thanks for sharing it x

    1. Just out of interest, did you use/are you using baby led weaning for your little cherubs? I didn't have any idea about it until my babe was just about ready for solids, but it has been amazing. I am not sure if we have just been very lucky or whether the feeding method has had anything to do with her "taste" for real food - veggies in paticular.

      The shop I had mentioned is great, just down the road and soooo much more fun to shop at than the supermarket. I love that they keep their veggies in cabinets at my toddler's eye level. Every time we go there, she makes a beeline for the baskets of broccoli :-) Much nicer than eye-level chocolates and lollies...


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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