Saturday, September 7, 2013

mmmmm: fresh caprese quinoa salad

quinoa is a staple in our house these days. it is is chalk full of protein but you feel like you are eating a carb, which is pretty much heaven in my book. i am a sucker for a good caprese salad.....there is something about the cold tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, the beautiful basil and the sprinkle of salt combined with the drizzle of olive oil and balsamic that is simply heaven on a plate for me. i have been experimenting will all sorts of ways to incorporate quinoa into meals and came up with this delicious, fresh recipe. i chose to incorporate fresh, grilled chicken bites into it for added protein, but it is just as yummy without. hope you enjoy!

fresh caprese quinoa salad

  • 2 cups quinoa (any color is fine)
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 carton grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of balsamic (trader joes makes a wonderful balsamic glaze that is perfect)
  • (optional) 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper. cool and cut into bite sized pieces

  1. cook quinoa according to package directions. (my favorite way is in the rice cooker).
  2. cool the cooked quinoa in the refrigerator first before assembling the salad. (warm quinoa will melt the mozzarella).
  3. prepare your ingredients by slicing grape tomatoes in half or quarters and cut the block of fresh mozzarella into bite size pieces or use the smaller balls (i still chose to half these into better bite-sized pieces). mix together well with chopped basil, toasted pine nuts and chicken and then cooked quinoa. next, drizzle on the olive oil and season with a little salt/pepper (to taste). give your salad a final toss and serve garnished with a basil leaf and drizzled with a small amount of balsamic. serve cool or at room temperature.

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