plat du jour 07: Warm Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Chicken

February 21, 2013


I can’t get enough of quinoa since I don’t eat much pasta anymore since going gluten free and g-free pasta isn’t quite the same. Pair it with a nice crunch from pine nuts and carrots and a punch of protein from chicken and this recipe is hearty and delicious and will stay good for lunch the day after, too.

Warm Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Chicken

  • 6 ounces red or black quinoa (1 cup)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into half-moons
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons small mint leaves


  1. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cumin, cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place oil in a skillet and sauté chicken until cooked through.
  4. Mound the quinoa salad on plates. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and mint leaves and serve the chicken alongside.

[Recipe adapted from Food + Wine]

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