If I needed any reassurance that we are a long way from Summer, the fact it was minus 4 on my morning walk was proof enough. Crunchy white grass met me as I stepped outside, and the neighbourhood cars were covered with a thick layer of frost.
I was pretty warm with my 4 layers of clothing on (plus gloves and beanie), admittedly, although my nose wouldn’t stop running and I returned home with a nice ‘red cheek’ glow. And my cravings throughout the day were a long way from the salads I normally have for lunch. Instead I opted for a big plate of comforting pasta, without a moment’s hesitation.
Although salads do tend to lose their appeal in Winter, this one was still a winner. The fact it was warm probably helped, and the quinoa added a nice feeling of ‘bulk’ to what was, in all reality, a rather light dinner.
I opted to oven-bake the chicken (free house heating!), although you could quite easily pan-fry the chicken too – if that is your preference. And feel free to play around with the ingredients – depending what you have on hand!
Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad (serves 2)
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked per packet directions
- 2 x small chicken breasts (or one large)
- Juice and zest of half a lemon + extra
- 1 tbs olive oil + extra
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1tsp minced lemon grass
- chopped sundried tomatoes and pitted kalamata olives (as many as you like)
- A few handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- The kernels from one corn-cob
- 1/2 avocado (or more if you like), sliced
- a handful of chopped parsley and coriander + extra to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Combine the lemon juice, zest, oil, ginger and lemon grass in a small bowl.
- Place chicken and in a baking dish, and pour over the oil mixture. Turn to coat well. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients, and divide among serving bowls. Top with the sliced chicken and remaining herbs. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
What about you? Do you crave salads in Winter?