Apple Chicken Quinoa Salad

A perfect salad for meal prep or a light dinner

Sunday is meal prep day in my house. I spent a few hours in the kitchen to get all of my lunches and any slow prep items ready for the week ahead. It’s a great time safer and ensures I have healthy, nutritious meals at the ready all week long.

Quinoa is one of my ‘go to’ grains for any meal. Its nutty flavor adds another layer to any meal. Plus it’s gluten free and a good source of all nine essential amino acids.

Quinoa can be a little bitter so it’s a good idea to place it in a fine mesh sieve and give it a quick rinse before cooking. I also recommend replacing water with chicken or vegetable stock. Opt for salt free, if it’s available. This allows you to control the salt content of the dish.

Apples can be a little tricky for a meal prep dish that is going to sit in the refrigerator for a few days, because they tend to brown once cut. I find the best way to prevent this is to toss your cut apple pieces in a tablespoon of lemon juice. The acid prevents browning.

I used leftover chicken when I make this salad. You could also use a rotisserie chicken or prepare a chicken breast or two by whatever method you prefer. Or leave it out for a great vegetarian option.

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Apple Chicken Quinoa Salad

with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 579 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa rinsed
  • 1 cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Dried Blueberries
  • 3 cups Spinach
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 cups Cooked Diced Chicken (omit for a vegetarian salad)

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small pot, combine the quinoa and chicken or vegetable stock, or water. Cook according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the spinach, pumpkin seeds, dried blueberries, and chicken (if using).
  • In a separate bowl, gently toss the cut apples in the tablespoon of lemon juice. Allow them to soak a few minutes. Drain any excess lemon juice before adding them to the spinach.
  • When it has finished cooking, remove the quinoa from the pot and allow it to cool to room temperature. Pop it in the refrigerator if you're in a hurry. Once it has cooled, add it to the spinach mixture. Toss to combine.
  • To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small food processor or a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
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