Thursday, July 25, 2013

BBQ Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Yummy!!!  Such a great alternative to the normal lettuce based salad.  And a great alternative to your typical BBQ for someone who loves that BBQ sauce flavor but wants to cut the fat and calories of the tradition BBQ dinner.

This was a hit!  Everyone loved it plus the kids could eat the components of the salad separately (for example, a plate with piles of chicken, quinoa, corn, veggie).  Another great way to use quinoa and something I'm adding to our regular rotation (Ha!  we don't have a regular rotation, but if we did I would include this).  I LOVED it and couldn't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Happy Cooking!

BBQ Chicken and Quinoa Salad
recipe based on
2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of quinoa
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (and some extra for the chicken)
1/4 cup of 2% greek yogurt
1/3 cup of freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 of an avocado, cubed
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup of cubed cucumber

I cooked some quinoa as I always do:  1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of liquid, in this case it was chicken stock but water would be fine.  Put that in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer (covered) for about 15 minutes or until tender.  At this point, if there is still extra liquid in the pan, just take it off the heat and cover it up.  The quinoa will absorb the extra liquid. 
Now for the corn...I used frozen, cooked it in the microwave, then waited for it to cool.  If you have time and the desire, then feel free to use a fresh ear of corn and grill it. 

And the rest of the basic ingredients:
My chicken breasts (leftover from earlier in the week - I grilled three times as much chicken as I needed for my chopped cobb salad, used some for this recipe, and the rest for my kiddos).
All the ingredients prepped and ready to go...its almost time for layering the ingredients.

Before we begin composing the salad, take about 2 tablespoons of extra BBQ sauce and toss it with your chicken.
Then use 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce and 1/4 cup of greek yogurt in a small bowl, whisking until smooth, to create a surprisingly delicious dressing.

This is seriously delicious, and I was very skeptical.
I wanted to add more vegetables than the original recipe.  So aside from the avocado and scallions, I also diced some cucumber and tomatoes.

Now for the layering...first use the quinoa, corn, and black beans.  (I should mention that this makes 2 LARGE portions, or 4 medium sized portions.  I made 2 plates with the ingredients listed.  My husband ate his entire plate, I ate half for dinner and saved the other half for my lunch the next day.  I think it depends on your appetite and caloric intake - your call.)

Then the chicken covered in BBQ sauce and the cheese.  Yummy!  At this point you can pop it in the microwave to melt the cheese, but I didn't really care about that.

So onto the BBQ dressing drizzle, the scallions, and cilantro.  Stop here if you want, but why do that when you can add more veggies?!?!

Lastly, the tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers.  YUMMY!!!

I hope you guys love this as much as we did...totally worth prepping on the weekend for a quick dinner or a delicious lunch.

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