Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken, Sriracha and Asian Spices

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Although I am a huge fan of salads I am sad to say that I have been getting EXTREMELY bored with eating a salad everyday for lunch. I normally do not like to eat a huge lunch at work, because that will transfer into a food coma and I will fall asleep at my desk. So for this week to spice things up, I decided to make a huge quinoa salad that I can eat everyday for lunch. It is super delicious and even though I am on day three, I am still super excited to dig into it today. My favorite thing in the entire world, besides Italian food and seafood of course, is Chinese food. This quinoa salad has an abundance of Asian flavors that gave me that satisfying feeling after I ate it.

It is easy to become bored with routines, which is why so many of us cannot stick with a healthy lifestyle, myself included. It is important to change things up and explore different ingredients and recipes. Living in an Italian household my whole life, we NEVER had sesame oil, sesame seeds or Sriracha (I didn’t even know what Sriracha was until about six months ago). One day I went to the store and just bought it and tried it, and now you will never find my fridge without it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup snow peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts, sliced thin
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced
  • 1/4 frozen edamame
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, diced and toasted
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add in 2 cups of quinoa and toast in the pan until fragrant. Add in 4 cups of water, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Around the 10 minute mark, add in edamame, corn and snow peas.
  2. While this finishes cooking, mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, Sriracha, cilantro, salt and pepper, and green onions, set aside.
  3. In a small skillet, place in sesame seeds and chopped peanuts. Toast until fragrant and set aside.
  4. In a skillet, heat up vegetable oil and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add in broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Once the quinoa is cooked, add in salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Add in the sauce that you set aside, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and diced grilled chicken.
  6. Mix the salad together and top with toasted sesame seeds, peanuts, more cilantro and more Sriracha (if desired)

Tip: Toasting any type of nut dramatically changes the flavor of the dish by bringing out the flavors. I also like to toast my spices beforehand because it releases the spices natural oils and highlights the flavors in the dish.

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