Spring is in the air and fresh flavors like cherry, lemon and mint are all I want to eat these days. Who’s with me?! Inspired by my desire for sunshine and a warm breeze, I decided to pull these flavors together and combine them in a protein-packed quinoa salad!
This salad is hearty and filling yet refreshing with it’s light and bright flavors. I am a girl who isn’t trying to mess around with a salad that isn’t going to keep me full for a while (cause ain’t nobody got time for that), so I loaded this up with chicken and quinoa for the kind of protein and whole grains that make this fitting for a meal! Serve this tasty grain salad over a bed of greens and boom, lunch is ready. Or maybe you have fun plans for Memorial Day weekend and are looking for the perfect side dish to bring to a BBQ… just solved your conundrum 😉
Whether you are enjoying this dish in your parent’s backyard this weekend or meal prepping it for a busy week ahead, it is sure to satisfy with the bursting flavors of cherry, lemon and fresh mint. If you whip this up and want to get all fancy on the ‘gram don’t forget to tag @fitfeedbyreed and #fitfeedbyreed 🙂 Happy salad making!!
This protein-packed quinoa salad is great for your summer BBQ or weekly meal prep! The flavors of cherry, mint and lemon combine oh so perfectly with the chicken and quinoa, for a flavorful salad that makes a great meal, served atop a bed of greens.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup cherry preserves
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup dried sweetened cherries
- 1/3 cup mint leaves (chiffonade)
Stir together the quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan, then bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for ~20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, pour 1 Tbsp of avocado oil into a skillet and heat.
Smother the chicken breasts in the cherry preserves and place in the skillet.
Cook over medium heat until the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked and the preserves are beginning to caramelize.
Remove chicken breasts from the heat and cut into cubes.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp of avocado oil, the lemon juice and the white wine vinegar.
In a bowl, combine the quinoa, cubed chicken breast, dried cherries and mint leaves.
Pour the vinaigrette over the top and stir.
Voila! (store in the refrigerator)
509 cals ~ 17g fat ~ 52g carb ~ 37g protein
Looking for more recipes for your summer barbecue?
Check out this Simple Savory Balsamic Salad Dressing to drizzle atop greens and berries!
On dessert duty? Check out these 5-Ingredient Carrot Cake Energy Balls!