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?