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Nectarine, Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Posted Aug 28 2012 3:13pm
It's Giveaway Time!!!

I'm excited and delighted to offer three copies to of my new Quinoa Book to three lucky winners!

To enter, simply do the following: 

(1) Leave a reply to this post in the comments section of the BLOG (i.e., if you are seeing this on my facebook page, you will need to click on the blog link to enter your comment).
(2) In your comment, share your favorite way to serve quinoa (I am assuming a fondness for quinoa given the prize is a quinoa book!). Alternatively, you could remark on the ingredients with which you like to pair quinoa.
(3) Leave your comment between now and Friday, August 31st (midnight CST is the cutoff).
(4) The winners will be chosen using and will be announced first thing Monday morning!
Note: If you are entering anonymously (i.e., not linked to google or otherwise), you must leave your first name and first initial of last name in your comment.

In the meantime, enjoy this quinoa salad recipe from the book. I've been going nectarine-crazy the past few weeks so I had all of the ingredients on hand to throw this together in a flash after a day spent with nary a thought of dinner.

You can certainly use peaches (peeled) in place of nectarines. Nectarines are a subspecies of peaches and generally have a more pronounced, intense flavor.

Good luck and enjoy!

Nectarine, Chicken and Quinoa Salad

This newfangled chicken-quinoa salad is studded with chunks of nectarines, their summery, sunshiny essence enhanced by goat cheese and an equally summery fresh basil dressing.

Makes 4 main-dish servings

3 cups cooked black or white quinoa (see below), cooled
2 cups diced roasted or poached chicken breast
2 large firm-ripe nectarines, diced
3 tbsp walnut or extra virgin olive oil 
3 tbsp white wine vinegar 
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese 
2/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped 
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts

1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chicken and nectarines.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard. Add to quinoa mixture and gently toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled, or for up to 24 hours.
3. Just before serving, add cheese, basil and pecans, gently tossing to combine.

* Replace the chicken with 12 oz tempeh (GF, if needed), diced.

Prepare Quinoa
Note: Although this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of quinoa, I usually make a whole batch (or more). The cooked, cooled grains will keep in the refrigerator (tightly covered container) for 5 days, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Having the cooked grains on hand makes quick meals and more a snap!

To prepare 3 cups of cooked quinoa, combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan (see chart below for other amounts of quinoa and water and their corresponding yields). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is just barely absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand — 2 to 3 minutes for an al dente texture or 8 to 10 minutes for a softer texture. Fluff with a fork.

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