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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thai Chicken Coconut Quinoa Salad

This afternoon I happened to take some chicken out of my freezer with absolutely no idea what to make for dinner. I contemplated just putting the chicken on the good old grill and making something very simple. Then I sat down at my computer, supposedly to look up some hotels to make reservations for our upcoming vacation and I got seriously side tracked with Pinterest. (Don't judge.... admit it...it's happened to you too!" When I found this recipe, I was so happy because I had almost everything to make it. I knew the things I didn't have could so easily be substituted with food I had around the house. So instead of making hotel reservations, I made this wonderful dinner! Now our bellies are full, but honestly we still have no idea where we are going to lay out little heads down when we take our road trip. Maybe tomorrow night we can figure it out. Anyway, this is a really good salad. It's not only good for you, but tastes great too!
Makes 3 large salads:
    For the Marinade:
     
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1 Tbsp + 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
    1/4 cup chili/garlic sauce
    1/8 cup all natural peanut butter
    3 Tbsp agave nectar
    1 Tbsp sesame oil
    1/4 tsp fresh, chopped ginger
    1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced 
     1 tsp coconut oil
     
    For the Quinoa 
     
    1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 Tbsp lime juice
     
    For the Salad:
     
    2 cups fresh spinach leaves
    2 cups spring salad mix
    1 mango, chopped
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade, except for the chicken and the coconut oil. Mix well.
  2. Add the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, you can cook the quinoa. Rinse it in a mesh strainer well and add it to a medium-sized saucepan, followed by the coconut milk, cook over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove from burner and allow it to sit for 5 more minutes.
  5. Remove the lid. Fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Squeeze in the lime juice. Toss to coat and set aside.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt 1 tsp of coconut oil. Add the chicken, but reserve the leftover marinade.
  7. Cook the chicken pieces 3-4 minutes on each side, until fully cooked.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  8. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add the reserved marinade. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!! You MUST cook the leftover marinade to cook the raw chicken juices that are left in it from marinading the chicken.  Bring the marinade to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the marinade is reduced down to about 1/4 cup and is thick and shiny.
  9. To assemble the salad, toss the spinach and  spring salad leaves together in a large bowl. Add the mango, cooked chicken, and the coconut quinoa. Sprinkle on some fresh chopped cilantro, and drizzle the desired amount of cooked marinade glaze over the top. Enjoy
Recipe Adapted From: http://fabtasticeats.com/2014/02/08/thai-chicken-coconut-quinoa-bowls-2/

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