Monday, 28 July 2014

Smoked Chicken, Strawberries and Feta Salad

My poor neglected blog. It’s been such a long time. It’s not you, it’s me.

It’s partly time and partly due to all my creative energy being pumped into work, which is not a bad thing. It’s a new industry for me, so lots to learn. In the evenings I find myself trawling TechCruch, Access Control and Biometrics related articles, and learning terms of software that I thought were animals that belonged in the zoo. I also tend to over analyse…Every. Single. Punctuation. Mark. And. Pronoun. I miss writing without reins. Which brings me back here. There is a certain freedom to a blog that I love. No editors, no big cheeses and no engineers. It’s your space. Your blog. Your opinion. So everyone else can suck it or start their own blog. But let’s not get side tracked and focus on the food.
It’s not that I haven’t been cooking, I have, but mostly high protein dishes as I am doing a 12-week challenge called ‘GetFit’. While doing the challenge I’ve learnt that I am a ‘Cardio and Cupcakes Kinda Gal’. I love exercise but I equally love carbs. I toyed with doing a series of high protein dishes, but my blog will always be a home for good food and this will certainly entail carbs. But in saying that, I have had some fun with new and forgotten foods. Enter Quinoa (pronounced ‘kee-n-wa’), my forgotten friend. Once a massively popular food a few years back, but as food falls in and out of fashion, I had forgotten about it until a friend reminded me of its high protein benefits. Actually a seed rather than a cereal, this South American gem is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The Incas have known of its benefits for thousands of years and regarded it as the 'mother grain' as they grew it high up in the Andes. Clever people those Incas.
So a quick, easy and delicious salad which is little labour for maximum flavour!

Smoked Chicken, Strawberries and Feta Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon, squeezed
1/4 cup (about 10) strawberries quartered
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 smoked chicken breast
1/3 cup crumbled feta
A Large handful of lettuce
Salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Rinse quinoa for about 2 minutes, make sure it is well rinsed.

Fill a medium pot with water, add quinoa and salt to taste and bring to a boil. When the water boils, reduce heat to low and cover; simmer covered 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered an additional 5 minutes without lifting the lid; then fluff with a fork and set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool.

While the quinoa cools, dice the strawberries and cucumber. Add to the cooled quinoa, and squeeze 1/2 lemon over it.

Plate the lettuce and heap quinoa onto it. Drizzle the olive oil over the quinoa, then add feta, salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

I managed to take a snap, no styling sadly. Next time for sure!
Serves 2

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