Back when I was in the States (how weird is it so say that?!), one of my favorite shows was the Barefoot Contessa. Love the cooking channel in general actually. So it was quite the easy transition when I got here and learned about MasterChef Australia. It follows a slew of home cooks through a competition with three judges. But here's where it gets real good - it's on every night. Well Sunday through Thursday; So every night that you're not out drinking. So basically it's genius! And very popular with the Aussies (and me!).
Conor and his roomies have several cookbooks lying around their apartment, one of which is written by one of the MasterChef judges, Mark Preston (link here - ignore the unfortunate cover pic, our focus is on the contents). Skimming through it the other day, I saw a light, bright quinoa salad that inspired me to create the following as one of the first meals I made in my new home!!
Here's what you're gonna need:
Pretty simple, really! You just layer up all the ingredients in the order I listed them. Couple tips, though...
First up, the quinoa... Now don't get me wrong, quinoa and I have had a long love affair, but even I know it could use a little spicing up. I cook my quinoa in chicken or veg broth (whatever's on hand): 1 part quinoa:: 2 parts broth...
I also add heaps of turmeric (my favorite spice!! ...but we'll get into that later) and cumin to the broth. Onion and garlic powder could also be added but I was out. Growing up, this was how my mom and grandma made rice, so it's how I make quinoa :)
Secondly, the chicken... No apologies needed here, everyone knows chicken can be BOR-ring. I thew mine in the oven with sliced lemon and fresh thyme sprigs on top...
My last tip is a little weird - the garlic... I say weird because I mean raw. I try and eat a clove of raw garlic every day; It's seriously so good for you - naturally fights inflammation (the root of basically all evil) and bacteria. And it's not like I just pop it in my mouth, most dishes I make, i just add the garlic last, like a garnish, and mix it in.
Because the quinoa and chicken get a lot of flavor, the salad doesn't really need a traditional dressing, so all I do is drizzle a little balsamic on top and add cracked pepper for a kick.
Super simple and so yummy!