1. Don’t go to Trader Joes on an empty stomach.
2. Cooking at home, with real food, is a good, good thing.
I think it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve set out and cooked an actual meal (as opposed to heating up something pre-made or grabbing something to-go). And even though it was simple, it was light and summery and the perfect antidote to the torture I put my body through over the holiday weekend.
Greek-Inspired Quinoa Salad
Serves: 2, or 4 as a side-dish.
Total cooking and prep time: 30 minutes.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- boneless, skinnless chicken breast (2)
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped. I used: basil, oregano, and parsley (You can substitute dried herbs, but the fresh herbs really give it an extra fresh punch of flavor)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook quinoa in a saucepan according to directions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, in a seperate pan place 2 tbsp of olive oil and cook the chicken breasts 4 minutes per side over medium heat. When the chicken is cooked, remove and set aside. Let cool, and slice or chop into bite-sized pieces.
- In the same pan you used to cook the chicken, add the onion and garlic. If you need to, you can add another tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the red bell peppers. Continue to cook for another four minutes, or until all of the vegetables are cooked through, but still firm.
- Add the 1/2 cup olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and the chopped herbs to a small mixing bowl. Whisk together and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice the chicken into 1-inch pieces and add all of the ingredients, including the cucumbers, into a large serving bowl and enjoy!
I enjoyed this both hot and cold, and I liked it both times. It’s easy, not very expensive, and surprisingly filling.
The only thing missing that would have made this an absolute home run, would have been a nice piece of crusty bread. I also think the addition of some greek olives would add a nice salty dimension. Can’t wait to make this again and experiment further.