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Healthy Living: Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad


I’ve written before about quinoa, a super-duper healthy grain. Since then, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has deemed 2013 “The International Year of the Quinoa.” Pretty cool, huh?

Why does this grain deserve such a lofty designation?

Well, quinoa is tremendously high in flavonoids, which are great for many things including fighting allergies, viruses and carcinogens. Flavonoids may also have anti-allergenic, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and anti-diarrheal properties and serve as a high-powered anti-inflammatory.

Quinoa is also high in mono-saturated fats, found in a form that does not break down during the cooking process. Pair it with veggies and a lean protein and you have yourself a super meal. This recipe is from a blog I love, but I added chicken to make it a main course meal. This recipe provides 71 percent of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin A.

Asian Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and diced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 cup shelled and cooked edemame
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced cucumber

Dressing:
1/4 cup lite soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Add water, quinoa, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Grill chicken breasts. Let rest. Dice.

Place the quinoa in a large bowl and add the chicken, cabbage, edemame, red pepper, carrots and cucumber. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and stir to combine.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 560, Calories from Fat: 183, Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 1177 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 57 g


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