Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad
I’ll bet you have the majority of the ingredients for this recipe in your pantry right now! Add the fresh veggies to your shopping list or sub with what you have fresh (most veggies will work with this recipe) and put this one in your meal plan/recipe rotation because it’s easy and is a fantastic make-ahead lunch option.
How do you make recipes like this work for the whole family? My two year old wouldn’t touch this if it was all combined (at least at this current age and stage) but that doesn’t mean I’m making him a separate “kid’s meal”. I’ll serve him the marinated chicken, quinoa, veggies and almonds, separated on a plate and combine with the dressing for my husband and I. I may add a side of a “favorite” for him like applesauce as well which always gets him digging in. While we see our fair share of toddler pickiness, I’ve held steadfast to the Ellyn Satter “Division of Responsibility” where I decide what and when and he decides how much. There’s no coaxing and prodding to finish things on his plate, I trust him to eat what he needs. And if that winds up being a tiny bite and a “all done!”, we may offer it again later or do a bedtime snack. It’s not perfect, and I sure do stress about him eating enough, but with this method I’ve kept a relatively wide variety of foods and flavors in his diet, he is growing and thriving, and I’m not a short-order cook cuz I most definitely don’t have time for any of that!
What do I recommend soaking the Quinoa first? Quinoa is quite high in phytic acid, which is also known as an “antinutrient” because of the way it impairs digestion and assimilation of other nutrients. Soaking overnight activates natural plant enzymes that help mitigate phytic acid and make the nutrients more accessible. Overall, it becomes much more digestible. You can also found pre-soaked/sprouted Quinoa on the shelves, but it will cost you a bit more money. TruRoots is a brand that offers sprouted Quinoa (along with other sprouted grains and lentils) and can be found online, in health food stores and often, at Costco.
Cheers, I hope you enjoy this one!
- ⅔ cup raw Quinoa, soaked overnight - yields ~2 cups cooked
- 1 TB of fresh Thyme or ¾ tsp dried
- 1 Lemon, juice and zest
- 2 clove fresh Garlic, chopped
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 2 x 4oz (2 x 113g) Organic Chicken Breast, sliced
- 1 TB grass-fed Butter or extra virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Raw honey (optional)
- 1 Tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 cups Baby Spinach or Arugula
- 2 cups raw Broccoli, chopped finely
- 2 Green Onions or Shallots, diced
- ½ cup raw slivered Almonds
- Cook quinoa as per packet instructions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Add the thyme, lemon juice, zest, 1 garlic clove, salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat chicken breasts (you can marinate for 10+ minutes for deeper flavour)
- Melt butter in large skillet on medium temperature. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan and cook until slightly golden (~5-10 minutes)
- Meanwhile, make dressing in a small jar, mixing together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard and remaining garlic.
- Add the baby spinach, broccoli, onions, almonds and cooked quinoa. Toss to combine
- Serve half the salad with half the chicken and 2-3 TB dressing. Toss to combine.