Garden chicken-quinoa salad with vinaigrette dressing

By the Chef Marshall O’Brien Group

You can vary the flavor of this colorful and quick salad meal by choosing one of three dressings. All are simple to make and rich in heart-healthy olive oil.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 24 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (about 2 medium), diced
  • 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups greens (about 5 ounces), such as romaine or spinach

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook (broil or grill) chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, turning once, about 7-8 minutes each side; slice chicken.
  2. Make desired vinaigrette; set aside.
  3. Mix quinoa, tomatoes, onions, and greens together.
  4. Add vinaigrette and toss salad.
  5. Top salad with chicken before serving.

Tip: Quinoa cooks in about 15 minutes, or you can prepare large batches and freeze individual portions so you always have some handy for this quick meal.

Ginger-miso vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons miso paste (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients except olive oil. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, OR place ingredients in a small jar with an airtight lid. Shake vigorously until well mixed. 

Note: Miso is fermented soybean paste. It is used in Japanese cooking to deepen the flavor of sauces, spreads, and soups. It can usually be found in the ethnic foods or produce aisle of larger grocery stores.

Lemon-chive vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon shallots, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients except olive oil. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, OR place ingredients in a small jar with an airtight lid. Shake vigorously until well mixed. 

Dill-dijon vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients except olive oil. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, OR place ingredients in a small jar with an airtight lid. Shake vigorously until well mixed. 

Chef Marshall O’BrienThe Chef Marshall O’Brien Group is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.