Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Chicken & Mushroom Salad

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Can you believe 2014 is already here?  Last year seemed to go by so quickly, and I hope it was a fantastic year for you.  Personally, I'm super excited about 2014 and can't wait to see what it has in store. 

The recipe I'm bringing you today is a hearty, warm salad that will be an easy, flavorful addition to your weeknight repertoire.  The ingredients are common and making use of a rotisserie chicken takes this dish up even one more notch on the simplicity scale.  Plus, anytime I can incorporate a little healthy quinoa into a meal, I'm in.

First, a quick dressing is whipped up using red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Half of this dressing is drizzled over the mushrooms, and then they are broiled until tender.  Delish.  After that, all that's left is cooking the quinoa and then mixing together all the ingredients in a big ole' bowl - baby spinach, chicken, quinoa, mushrooms and the remaining dressing.  A sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese perfectly finishes it all off.

Bon Appetit, my friends!

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Chicken & Mushroom Salad
Adapted from:  Everyday Food: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart

1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil  
Coarse salt and ground pepper  
2 pounds button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced  
1 1/2 cups quinoa  
1 pound baby spinach 
2 cups cooked chicken, diced (a rotisserie chicken is a great time saver!)
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Heat broiler; set rack 4 inches from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with about half the dressing (reserve the rest); broil, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place spinach and cooked chicken in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (spinach will wilt slightly). Top with crumbled feta, and serve immediately.

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