Quinoa Chicken Taco Salad

Quinoa Chicken Taco Salad

Here you get everything you’d find in Mexican food but without the flour tortilla or bottomless chips! This salad is layered with seasoned, tender grilled chicken, hearty black beans, flavorful cheese, sweet corn and a refreshing avocado salsa. So many delicious flavors!

Yields: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce (one bag or a whole head, trimmed and cut)
  • 1 2/3 cups frozen corn , warmed (optional)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, warmed along with liquid from the can then drained (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (optional)
  • Plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream (optional)

Avocado salsa

  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 medium avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion, rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then cover, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or saute pan to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl whisk together ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pound chicken breasts to even out their thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet. Brush both sides with the 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil then season both sides of chicken with the chili powder mixture (use all of it). Grill or saute chicken for about 4 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover and let rest 5 minutes then cut into pieces, season with more salt to taste if desired.

  3. While the chicken is resting, prepare avocado salsa. In a medium mixing bowl gently toss together tomatoes, avocados, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble the salad place the romaine leaves in a large bowl.  Top with chicken, corn, black beans, cheese, avocado salsa and Greek yogurt. Serve immediately.