Thursday, September 13, 2012

Citrus quinoa salad with grilled chicken

I played with your heart, got lost in the game.  Oh, baby baby.

Vintage Britney Spears was really the best, wasn't she?  She always straddled the line between crazy fun and just plain crazy, but you loved her anyway because her music was so darn catchy.

Kinda like me.  Always toeing the line between diligent photographer and delinquent blogger.  But the food is so good that you keep coming back.  Right? :)

Oops I did it again
I made some good food
Forgot cam-er-a
Oh, baby baby

You see, I set out to make dinner one night last week.  And knew it would be delicious.  But didn't plan to write about it.

However, when I plated it, I entered into full-on spaz mode, firmly smacking my forehead.  "THIS DISH IS SO FRIGGIN' GORGEOUS!  WHERE IS YOUR CAMERA, WOMAN?"

(Yes, I really truly smack my head when I'm alone and do something stupid.  It's one of those qualities Matt sweetly refers to as "endearing.")

Normally, I'd yell for Matt to grab my camera, but I felt (unreasonably so) that I didn't have a moment to spare.  Methinks it was because I was ravenous and wanted to dig into this ASAP.

The bright tropical (and anti-fall) colors of the plate immediately grabbed my attention.  Kinda like saying, "Hello, summer is still here.  Enjoy this fresh dish now!"  One bite and I was smitten.  THIS DISH IS FRIGGIN' AMAZING!  Sweet corn and orange segments, slightly salty quinoa and tender chicken, and the creamiest most un-sinful food on the planet -- avocados.  All of it tossed in a quick orange zest dressing.

Get. Outta. Town!  Or, get to eating.  I went ahead and took pictures so you don't need to.  Less photographing, more savoring... oh, baby, baby.

One year ago: Honeyed apple peanut butter tart
Two years ago: Pumpkin spice whoopie pies with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

Citrus Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken
(evolved from this recipe)
-serves 3

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 cup corn, frozen and thawed or fresh off the cob
Zest of one orange
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 ripe avocado, sliced in half, then each half sliced
2 chicken breasts, salted and peppered and grilled, cut into slices

In a small saucepan, bring chicken stock and quinoa to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and pour into large bowl.  Add onion, corn, orange segments, and cilantro.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add to quinoa mixture and toss to combine.  Plate quinoa, top with avocado and chicken, garnish with cilantro if desired.  Serve and enjoy!  Extras can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

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