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Mango Basil Quinoa Chicken Salad

May 18, 2011

Mangoes…..

I love mangoes! I especially love them when they are on sale. After several nights of sleep deprivation and a husband who is back to work again after a rather (health wise) rough weekend, I finally have a second to post. I made this over the weekend while he was sick. Mainly because he is not a fruit eating kinda guy and I knew that I might be one of the only ones to eat it. The kids each tried a little bit, but weren’t thrilled by the basil vinegarette. I tried explaining that was the best part but they weren’t buying my sales attempt. I understand. I couldn’t even sell wrapping paper as a kid to my own parents for a school fundraiser.

The original recipe called for white rice. I changed it to include quinoa–a high protein powerhouse with much more nutrients than white rice. I also opted for a fat free vinigarette since that was what I had on hand at the time. I use Maple Grove Farms, but you can use whatever tastes the best to you.

You can totally make this a vegetarian meal in a snap! Use seitan or tofu in place of the chicken. You can even try black beans!

MANGO BASIL QUINOA CHICKEN SALAD

2 cups quinoa, uncooked and drained and rinsed if necessary

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette

2 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 cup mango, peeled and chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (or use any other vegetable you may have. Peas are a great addition too!)

4 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried

1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese

**Vegetarian substitutions for chicken: Black beans, seitan or tofu

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Or for quinoa cooking instructions, click here.

Pour cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Combine the basil dressing, quinoa and fresh basil leaves until well mixed. Add in the mango and vegetable of your choice. Continue stirring to combine well.

Place a lettuce leaf on each of the plates (or inside a bowl). Divide the salad mixture evenly between the four lettuce leaves. Sprinkle goat or feta cheese over each to garnish. This makes for a great cold salad the next day for lunch too!

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