A delicious light lunch: Sesame-crusted chicken breast strips served on a quinoa salad with mangetout and an asian-inspired ginger and tamari dressing.
This, friends, is what can happen after a week of supreme laziness in the kitchen department: a quinoa dish so awesome it convinced my 10-year-old! Served with sesame-crusted chicken strips, the secret of this quinoa salad with mangetout is a zingy ginger and tamari dressing. A little gluten free wonder that not only is good for you, but tastes even better. Food heaven.
We were all set to ski in Estonia, a country we have only EVER seen covered in snow. Last week, however, there was enough rain to surf. And then, just before I was getting ready to pack all the sensible thermals I’d bought, EVERYBODY got ill. We cut our losses and settled for a staycation. Clearly, we all needed to relax and do as little as possible. Which we did with a vengeance. Amazon Prime, we were your best customers. I am living proof you can get hooked onto ANY TV series. This is how it happens:
- You watch the first episode of – let’s call it Series X -, sniggering about the terrible acting/cringe-worthy script.
- You are convinced there is no way you can bear another hour of it. But it was kind of funny.
- You check what else is on offer. There is nothing better. Films are too long for your attention span.
- You watch the second episode. The lead actor is really hunky.
- It’s getting late, but you watch the third episode. The lead actor is really hunky, has nice tattoos and actually, you are getting into the story as well.
- How important are good acting and great scripts anyway? You just want to be entertained!
- You watch the whole series to the bitter end and feel empty and sad when it finishes.
- In a moment of Chardonnay-fuelled truth, you might confess to a close friend how amazing Series X was. Because of the hunk. It’s ok. They’ll have their own Series X they’ll recommend to you. And you can get started all over again.
Whilst the TV was epic, little happened in the kitchen. We slowly emptied the fridge and freezer and started eating out when the shelves were beginning to look empty. Seriously, the most interesting I produced all week was the Green Pina Colada Smoothie. See? This is how recipe magic happens! Just sit on the sofa for a week, pity yourself because your AMAZING SKIING HOLIDAY got cancelled, eat leftovers and hog the iPad. The result will be an unforgettable family dish that’ll go straight up there with Pasta Pesto!
I have always liked the nutty taste of quinoa and find that people aged eleven and above generally seem fine with it. Age 10 and under, however, need more than just the KNOWLEDGE that something is good for them. Plain and nutty will fill them up, but you can see in their brave little faces they are being kind, very kind.
This dish, friends, is quinoa at its best: it’s fragrant, crunchy, zingy, light, fresh AND nutty. Topped with the sesame-crusted chicken breast strips – crunchy on the outside, succulent on the inside and no breadcrumb in sight – it makes a star meal. Ask my daughter.
Okay, I’ll just say it. Have any of you seen Arrow?
Yields 4 portions
Quinoa is a great alternative to rice or potatoes. With the tamari and soy dressing it becomes a super-tasty dish. Serve as a light lunch or package it up for your lunches throughout the week
10 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 225g quinoa
- 100g mangetout, sliced
- 2 spring onions, green bits only and finely sliced (optional)
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic or white wine vinegar
- 2-3tsp tamari
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- salt and ground pepper
- 500g (2 large) chicken breast, cut in strips
- 1 egg
- 100g sesame seeds
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil
- Cook the quinoa like rice: use twice as much water as quinoa. Bring to the boil, add a dash of salt and simmer with lid on until ready.
- To prepare the salad dressing, simply put the ingredients with a little sea salt and pepper in a screw-top jar, close the lid and shake vigorously. Try 2tsp tamari first, if you like a little more punch, like me, add another one.
- Scatter the sesame seeds on a plate along with some salt and pepper.
- Beat your egg in a bowl and coat the chicken strips with the egg before dipping them into the sesame seeds until they are evenly coated all over.
- Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces for about 10 minutes on a medium heat
- Once cooked, rinse the quinoa under cold running water and set aside to cool down completely. Then toss it in a large serving bowl with the mangetout and spring onions. Finely sliced spinach would also work well.
- Divide the salad among four plates. Place the chicken over each salad and drizzle over the dressing.