Pack your lunch! Apple, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on September 24, 2010

Staying healthy means a lot.  It means getting in regular exercise, portioning your meals, eating things in moderation, and finding good natural local (if possible) food.  All this is, of course, easier with habit.  But the one thing that you don’t want to get in the habit of is eating the same food day in and day out.  With monotony comes boredom, and when you’re bored of what you’re eating, your less likely to make good choices and more likely to indulge.

In an effort to stick with a healthy diet, Adam and I usually make meals for the week that we divide into portions.  This way, rather than heading out for lunch each day, we just grab out of the fridge each morning. It is fantastically convenient.  Of course we have to change up the meal every few days so we don’t die of boredom.

This brings us to the apple chicken and quinoa salad we made for this week.  A new dish that I thought I’d share.


  • 1 apple (peeled or unpeeled – your choice)
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (I cooked mine with chicken stock for flavor)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (I roasted mine simply with olive oil and salt and pepper)
  • basil
  • scallions
  • white wine vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • sliced almonds

Chop your cooked chicken into bite sized pieces.  Mix this with your cooked quinoa. Dice your apple, chop the basil and scallions.  Toss these and the sliced almonds in with quinoa and chicken mix.  Now it is time for the dressing.  I went with one part brown sugar and two parts white wine vinegar.  For the amount of salad I had I thought I’d just need one tablespoon of brown sugar and two of the vinegar.

Add to the salad and toss.  If you leave the peel of the apple on you’ll have a much more colorful dish than I did.  Though it doesn’t photograph well, it did eat well!

What I like about this dish is its versatility.  I like that it is a little sweet, but if we were to make it again, I’d make it a little more savory for Adam’s taste.  Perhaps I’d use less dressing, or change it entirely to a pesto or vinegar and dijon mustard.  You could also trade out the chicken for shrimp or the apple for peas or some other veggie you love.  Make it your own!  But most of all, pack it up for lunch and make your coworkers jealous of your yummy food.


2 Responses

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  1. steve said, on September 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Nice suggestion, with the quinoa. Gladys is a fan and cooks quinoa (and its cousins) all the time, all colors/types, alone or combined, for salty (savory as you put it) or sweet dishes. The theme of eating right, with our fast-paced lives, always brings compromises. Preparing foods in advance has its downside. As soon as you cut fruits or vegetables, the nutrients begin their exit, and the nutrient content a day or two later is far below what it was prior to being cut. In the moment is always ideal. But that’s a compromise.

    The other is about the animal flesh. Nothing wrong with animals, most of us eat them. It’s just better, think I, that those being used are also purchased from more organically raised or naturally fed farms. We are not just what we eat, but what we eat eats. (don’t watch the movie Food Inc. if you don’t mind where the animals come from).

    And finally, if you can find good Mauritius brown or black sugar, it’s delicious, in addition to being nutritious.

    I’m not picking on your recipe, only adding comments to your most excellent post.

  2. Elizabeth said, on September 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Thanks Steve! I love quinoa and think it adds well to many dishes. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Mauritius sugar. In regards to the animal flesh – I am certainly a full on omnivore and am conscious, when purchasing meats, of where the meat is from. I stick to organic and grass fed as best I can. Though the meat is not as cheap as others, like you said, we are what we eat eats, so I believe the cost to be appropriate for what I get out of it.

    As for this week’s lunch? It’s couscous, shrimp, sauteed onions, garlic, and red peppers with spinach leaves and raisins. Deeeelicious.

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