This week we are going to be mixing a few raw elements into non-raw meals. It goes against raw mentality, but I think it’s important to see how we can bring raw elements into our lives without having to completely alter our diet. It is pretty easy to make a salad raw, but I love bringing cooked elements into most of mine!
The cooked elements in this salad are the chicken and quinoa (the main source of protein for the meal) and the mushrooms and onion. I left my seasoning on all of these ingredients pretty bland on purpose. I was afraid of well seasoning each ingredient only to bring them together and have the flavor too strong and overly savory (as I have done in past meals). I added some paprika to the quinoa and some lemon juice, salt and pepper to the chicken. Once my salad was assembled and dressed it was missing a little something, but a pinch or two of salt fixed the problem:-)
Sauté the onion and mushrooms and dice the other vegetables while the quinoa and chicken are cooking. Once all your toppings are prepared begin making the dressing. The dressing is our main raw feature for this recipe. It is the dressing used in the Tomato, Pea, Avocado Bean Salad. I like it so much I wanted to find other ways to use it:-) Add all the dressing ingredients to your blender and mix until the dressing is smooth. Set dressing in a bowl and add to individual salads once they are assembled.
Chipotle Quinoa Chicken Salad (serves 2)
Bed of greens
1-2 chicken breasts or thighs (depending on the size)
½ C dried quinoa
1 C broth
1 t paprika
1 red bell pepper
½ onion, diced
3-4 oz sliced mushrooms
- You may prepare the chicken however you like. As an idea: I cut my chicken into strips and wrapped it in some tinfoil with broth, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I baked it in the oven at 350 F until it was cooked through. (30-40 minutes)
- Bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa and paprika; leave heat on medium-high until it returns to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and stir occasionally until all the liquid is gone. When it is done set aside until you are ready to assemble salads.
- While chicken is cooking, sauté the onions and mushrooms until the onions are soft and yellowed. Season as desired.
- Dice red pepper, tomatoes and avocado and set aside.
- Place all the dressing ingredients into blender and mix until smooth. Place into a bowl and serve over salads once they are assembled.
- Once all the ingredients are ready layer toppings over a bed of greens and add dressing to your taste.
* I left the seasoning on my chicken and vegetable very mild, not wanting to interfere with the flavor of the dressing. I ended up adding a pinch or two of salt to my salad and it made the flavor just right. Adjust your seasoning as needed.