Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Peachy Mango Quinoa Salad

Slowly but surely I am remembering I am a blogger. I know you are sick of my excuses but until about noon on June 10th my brain will be in VBS mode and so will all my extra time. That doesn't leave much time for experimenting in the kitchen. The name of the game is quick meals! For example, tonight I chopped up some veggies and cooked them in a bit of olive oil and balsamic with a dash of McCormicks Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb and served it over some spinach. We ate some grapes and strawberries on the side. I didn't even take a picture because I have somewhat gotten out of the habit. Just in case you are wondering, we ate a big lunch and weren't very hungry. The kids ate the same thing but I also made them some cheesy toast.

Now on to the title of this post. My friend Ka-Lee gave me a recipe for Peach Chicken Salad that sounded really great. I was going to make it for small group a few Sunday nights back but didn't have enough chicken. So of course my favorite food came to my rescue, QUINOA! I still plan on making the recipe as it was but for now this is what you will get.

I diced my chicken and cooked it in a bit of water and garlic. I think I only had one chicken breast or two very small ones. I needed a bit more for sure.

The original recipe calls for just peaches but I used both a mango and some peaches and diced up some red onion. I seeded a cucumber and diced that up as well.

This dressing doesn't look very appetizing but it was a really nice change from what I normally make for this kind of a salad. It is white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Stevia, fresh mint, and salt and pepper. The recipe says to put these ingredients in a blender but I didn't. I just chopped up my mint and whisked it all together in this bowl.

I had already cooked 1 cup regular quinoa with 1 cup red quinoa just to add more color and make it look pretty. That ends up making about 8 cups of cooked quinoa. I didn't use all of that. When I make quinoa I always make extra to have on hand in the fridge. I may have used 5 cups of cooked quinoa for the salad. To make the salad  just toss everything into the bowl. I also added some sliced almonds for some crunch and some dried cranberries just because I love them so and gave it a thorough mixing.

It made a nice big bowl to take to small group. I am sure those people are really sick of quinoa by now especially since I made a bruschetta quinoa salad this Sunday night. So sorry everyone. However, rumor has it that someone has been eating it with his yogurt for breakfast, which is pretty exciting to me!

I think this would be an excellent salad to take to a potluck. People are willing to try things at potlucks that they normally wouldn't try. Then they will all rave about it and wonder who made it and then be asking you about the recipe. I promise you will win the prize for the best new recipe at the potluck! It is a really refreshing dressing and will make a great summer quinoa recipe.

I am sorry Ka-Lee that I just can't leave a recipe alone!
I will try the recipe like I am supposed to soon.
Here is a link to the original recipe if you too would like to try it.

Adapted from Peach Chicken Salad on allrecipes.com 
 Peachy Mango Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (will make about 6 cups cooked)
1 large mango peeled and cubed
2 peaches peeled and cubed
1/2 large cucumber seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion diced
2-3 chicken breasts cubed and cooked (rotisserie chicken would be great too)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup Stevia
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions: Cook quinoa and set aside. (1:2 ratio) In a large bowl combine chicken, peaches, mango, cucumber, cranberries, almonds, and onion and set aside. In a blender combine vinegar, lemon juice, Stevia, mint, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Alternatively, chop mint very fine and whisk the dressing ingredients together. Drizzle over chicken mixture, add quinoa, and toss to coat. Top with a few more almonds and cranberries if desired for presentation. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

For those of you who read my last post and are curious about my final cake project last week here is how it turned out.

Mickey was a new challenge for me! He is so recognizable that if you are even a bit off it will cause a person to say, "That doesn't really look like Mickey!" He wasn't perfect but I was satisfied with how he turned out. I agreed to do this cake during my very busy week because it was for a little girl with leukodystrophy, a disease that damages the white matter of the brain and the adrenal glands. I prayed while I was making it, not only that it would turn out well for them, but that in some small way it would bless their family somehow. Her mom told me when she picked up that cake that even though her daughter doesn't speak, she communicated through expressions that this was the cake she wanted as they looked at images on the computer. She said she was so excited to show her daughter and see her reaction!!!  I was reminded that I really need to be more prayerful about the things I committ myself too. I wanted to say no to this because I was so busy but I would have missed out on an opportunity to serve someone and be blessed myself in so doing. Now someone please remind me of this next time I am complaining about being too busy!

Have a blessed evening!

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