Spicy Chicken, Kale, and Quinoa Salad

 

 

 

This recipe for my healthy Spicy Chicken, Kale, and Quinoa Salad has become a staple in my meal plans this summer! Let’s break it down–spiciness from the hot sauce adds a TON of flavor, kale is one of my favorite superfoods, and quinoa adds even more protein and micronutrients to make this salad as healthy as it is tasty!

Let’s talk a little about the ingredients, just because I am a nutrition nerd. Kale is referred to as a “superfood” because it is one of the healthiest foods out there due to it’s high content of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. I used to be afraid of it, but once I tried it, I now enjoy it in salads, roasted, in soups, or scrambled into eggs or an omelet. It’s so much more exciting (and nutritionally dense) than regular ol’ lettuce! Just try it–you can thank me later.

Next up is quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah.” It sounds weird and therefore I had never tried it until a few years ago. Now I use it in place of rice, or in salads, oatmeal or homemade granola bars to add protein. It is actually a grain, but has far more protein than rice or pasta. I always go for the most nutritionally dense foods when given a choice, and quinoa has more calcium than milk, and is an excellent source of iron, phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E.

The rest of the salad is chicken and veggies, flavored with fresh herbs, lime juice, garlic….my mouth is watering just thinking about it. No oily dressings, (although I love a good oil and vinegar based salad-dressing), no pants-button-busting huge amount of calories, just simple ingredients with maximum flavor. It’s versatile too. I used orange bell peppers because I had a few to use up still from my Bountiful Basket. I happen to have green onions growing in the garden. But you can substitute what you have on hand. No corn? Leave it out. Still an amazing meal!

And good news for all of you following the 21 Day Fix Nutrition Plan like I have been for over 2 years, this is “Fix-approved!” Check out the recipe card for container equivalents.

The first couple of times I made this I made it and stored it in a huge covered bowl in the fridge, but last week I did something for even easier meal prep–I put it in individual serving containers so I could just grab and go! Perfectly portioned, no counting calories required!

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I have been.

 

Spicy Chicken, Kale, and Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
A healthy salad-as-a-meal that can be enjoyed warm or made-ahead and eaten all week cold, straight from the fridge.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
418 calories
46 g
89 g
8 g
43 g
2 g
475 g
537 g
3 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
475g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 418
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 89mg
30%
Sodium 537mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 46g
15%
Dietary Fiber 6g
24%
Sugars 3g
Protein 43g
Vitamin A
214%
Vitamin C
304%
Calcium
15%
Iron
27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 c. cooked, diced chicken breast
  2. 1 c. quinoa, cooked in 2 cups of water
  3. 4 c. chopped kale
  4. 1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and green ends
  5. 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  6. 1 c. cooked corn
Dressing
  1. 1/4 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  2. 1-2 cloves fresh pressed garlic
  3. 1/4. c. lime juice
  4. 1/4 c. hot sauce, such as Frank's or sriracha sauce
  5. 1/4 c. water
  6. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized pot, combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, mix together all ingredients for the dressing.
  3. In 4 individual mason jars or containers with lids, layer 1/4 of the quinoa on the bottom, followed by 1/4 of the corn, green onions, bell pepper, 3/4 cup of chicken, the dressing, and 1 cup kale. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.
Notes
  1. 21 Day Fix container Equivalents: 1 red, 1 1/2 green, 2 yellow. Total time is based on the assumption that you have done your meal prep and already have the chicken breasts cooked. If you need them cooked quickly, throw them in a steamer bag and pop them in the microwave according to instructions on the bag. Also feel free to sub any color of bell pepper that you like.
beta
calories
418
fat
8g
protein
43g
carbs
46g
more
Adapted from The Glowing Fridge Blog
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