Graduating from college and becoming an alumnae of your sorority means early mornings spent cramming in breakfast, coffee, makeup, hair, outfit, and packing a lunch. Ugh. Growing up is so cruel. Yes, I might have complained more than a few times about the lunch options for the week at the house in my time. Fried food? AGAIN?! Well, at least there was always salad.
Now that I actually have to pack a lunch to stay alive during the days (I REFUSE to pay for mediocre food at lunchtime), I have started to get creative. This means less sandwiches and crackers, and more nutritional options. Pasta and quinoa salads are a great way to switch up the lunch grind and add in a more balanced meal.
This quinoa salad has delicious Asian flavor without the (cough-FAKE-cough) American Chinese food that is played off as authentic in most Tampa restaurants. And probably 1/4 of the sodium. Win-win for us all!
I adapted the original recipe a bit by adding grilled chicken instead of shredded chicken. You can make this a super quick meal by shredding some rotisserie chicken too! (click here for my chicken shredding tutorial)
Toasted Sesame Quinoa with Grilled Chicken
Recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Heat saucepan over and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing quinoa to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Add in chicken, green onions, dressing, and sesame seeds, tossing well to coat.
This can be eaten warm or cold. Make the night before and pack for your lunch! It is filling and delisssh.