Come see just how good the rainbow can taste with this vibrant, high protein, Rainbow Chicken Quinoa Salad that is naturally dairy and gluten-free!
RAINBOW CHICKEN QUINOA SALAD
Brighten up your salad with this vibrant rainbow chicken quinoa salad that is made with good-for-you ingredients like fruit, vegetables, quinoa and lean chicken. Together these ingredients will give you a powerful dose of phytonutrients; important compounds that help to act as protective antioxidants, natural detoxifiers and helpful immune boosters in our bodies.
Fresh Summer Produce
With summer in full swing I am trying to savor as much fresh produce as possible. I’m pretty bummed that my garden is not doing that great this season, it’s just been too rainy. Of course, I really cannot complain, we are very blessed to have harvested so much already. I think we were just spoiled by such an abundant crop last year.
This year, I am still trying to get as much fresh, local produce as possible. While I of course always want to grow my own food, I cannot forget about the bounty of farmers markets and other local farmers who are experiencing a more bountiful year than I.
This Rainbow Chicken Quinoa Salad was born from my obsession of eating all the fresh fruits and vegetables, and whatever I didn’t grow myself I got from a local farm. Right now peaches and blueberries are so fresh and plentiful, they really add a fantastic element to this salad.
Fruits + Veggies = The Perfect Salad
Now my dad says that fruit has no place in a salad, but I seriously have to disagree. I think that fruits and vegetables make a perfect pair in this salad, the flavors balance each other well and every single bite is bursting with with flavor. It is also an excellent way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, which we all know is the key to better health.
This salad does contain chicken, which is totally optional to add. The documentary What The Health was recently released, and while I think the messaging was quite skewed, I can’t argue that a diet rich in plant foods is the single best way to improve and maintain good health. I, however, am not against the consumption of meat.
To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat?
I was a vegetarian in college and while it was a great learning experience for me, I did learn that my body feels better when I do not restrict anything in my diet. Restrictions lead to disordered eating patterns which can impede us for living a true life of health and happiness.
I do consume meat, but in much smaller quantities than I ever have before. I always try to make sure that the majority of my diet is Plant-based, but that is not to say that I do not enjoy a steak here or there. What I am more concerned about when it comes to meat consumption is the quality of the meat. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been raising six of my own egg laying hens from baby chicks we got this past March.
I love those chickens. Is that weird to say?? Well I do. They are much smarter and much more fun than I been thought they would be. They have taught me a lot about mini-farming and have given me a lot to consider when it comes to how animals are treated. I do believe that when it comes to meat, we have a choice when it comes down to quality. Not everyone agrees with this and that’s is okay, but for me I feel more comfortable only consuming organic meat, free range is possible, and from a local farmer if at all possible.
Growing my own food and raising my own chickens has given me a much greater appreciation for the food I consume, which is something I hope everyone can learn over time as well. It is easy to buy food at the grocery store and never think about the source, but now that I realize how much time and love and dedication goes into growing and producing good, I have a much deeper sense of appreciation for how it actually arrived on my plate.
- 1/2 pound organic locally sourced chicken breast
- 1 cup lemon vinaigrette divided
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa or 1.5 cups of prepared quinoa
- 4 cups kale chopped
- 1 cup radicchio or red cabbage chopped
- 10 Brussels sprouts shaved or sliced thin
- 1 14 ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 plum diced
- 1 peach or nectarine diced
- 1 cup blueberries
Dice the chicken into uniform, bite sized sized pieces.
In a gallon sized ziplock bag, combine the chicken breast and 1/2 cup of the lemon vinaigrette. Let sit to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a foil lined baking sheet and set aside.
After the chicken has marinated, discard the excess marinade and evenly spread the chicken on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Ensure the chicken has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
If the quinoa is not yet cooked, bring 1 cup of water or vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook until the water absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
Set the chicken and quinoa aside to cool after cooking.
Wash and chop all of the fruit and vegetables.
Mix together the kale, red cabbage and shaved Brussels sprouts for the base of your salad. Spread evenly in 4 bowls.
Top each salad with cannellini beans, bell pepper, plum, nectarine, and blueberries.
Top with quinoa and chicken.
Finish with the remaining lemon vinaigrette and enjoy!
DON’T FORGET YOUR MEAL PLAN!
I hope you’re inspired to try new and different recipes, like this Rainbow Chicken Quinia Salad! If you’re looking for additional help in meal planning or discovering new and delicious recipes to try, be sure to download my Free 16 page eBook – The 5 Day Happy & Healthy Meal Plan below!
I hope you give this recipe a try and fall in love, just as I did!
What is your favorite summer time salad ingredient? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
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