There is no denying the amazing flavors in this delicious Crispy Quinoa Chicken & Strawberry, Mango Spring Salad. Can you ever really go wrong with fresh and peak ripened strawberries, mangoes, and avocados?! Crunchy candied almonds and creamy Feta cheese add a pop of flavor. It becomes a complete game changer with quinoa replacing regular breading on your chicken, and can easily be made into a gluten free meal. Need we say more?
Spring is officially here…YAY!!! Although, if you live in Utah Spring and Winter still seem to be fighting daily battles with each other. There is still a ski resort in Salt Lake that says they might still be open into June! :0 Crazy right?!
Spring means three things for me:
First, MUD!!! UGH! We built a home last fall and I am now looking into reality of putting a yard in and I can’t say I am completely ecstatic at the thought of sprinkling systems and grass taking over my spring and summer….although, my son now has officially and quite successfully marked every single pair of shoes….very new to old…caked and coated with a nice thick layer of mud. You can’t make this stuff up. I really should take a picture of my garage and muddy shoes! 🙂 What is it about boys and mud?! They are like magnets being pulled together with a force so strong that nothing will break its attraction. So maybe putting in a yard, that we all spend way too much on, won’t seem like such an undertaking when I think of muddy shoes! Although, I am completely sure my son will still find the square inch of mud in the back hidden corner of our yard after its in…haha!
Second, it means growth and renewal. I love looking out my window and seeing green all over the hills and mountains outside of my house. It means out with the decay of winter and “blahness” and new bright colors blanketing the country. I love seeing the buds on the plants and trees, and I absolutely love seeing the daffodils and tulips sporadically shooting up all over Utah. I have yet to see the Tulip Festival down in Lehi at Thanksgiving Point, but I can be absolutely positive I’d be in complete and utter bliss!
My two, I guess, comes with a part B. Growth and renewal can mean so many things, and to me personally, it is growth and renewal of my soul. That is why I love spring cleaning so much. It is the physical form of cleaning out my brain and spirit and tossing the cobwebs and junk that doesn’t need to be there. It gives us a chance to evaluate where we are in life, reevaluate our goals and move forward with a clean start and bounce in our step. So if you are needing that growth and renewal in your own life, there is no time better to do it than now! 🙂
And finally my third….BERRIES and all the delicious produce of the spring and summer months! (I am sure you were wondering how all my ramblings would get strategically tied back into food!) The best one of all right?! There is nothing better than a strawberry, raspberry, or peach picked at the peak of ripeness. And lets not get started on Avocados, Utah corn and homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes! I know I am not the normal type…and that is ok. I have come to terms with the fact that most people will think I have completely lost my mind that I would eat delicious salad, full of different colors, textures, and flavors over the best well-made steak any day. Passion right?! It would be a boring world if we all like the same foods, clothing, and cars. 🙂
This Crunchy Quinoa Chicken and Strawberry, Mango Spring Salad is begging for Spring to come with the juicy strawberries, mango, and avocado invited to the party. The candied sliced almonds and Feta are the definite DJ’s for our bash. Although can easily be replaced to other delicious options such as honeyed cashews or pistachios, Parmesan or Gorgonzola cheese. We usually love making our own dressings, but when you are in a pinch on time, this quick dressing can’t be beat! Two delicious dressings mixed together…pure genius! What is your palate needing today?!
The star is our Quinoa Crusted Chicken. It is such a fun new and healthy addition to the traditional thick bread crumb version from…”back in the day”…as my son is saying to me lately. HaHa! Just a few tips we like to use for dipping the chicken: We like to use tenderloins because they cook faster and a little more evenly the the breast. Have your precooked and cooled quinoa, beat eggs, flour of choice, and pan sprayed in three separate bowls ready to go before you handle the chicken. It’s never fun to realize you didn’t and have to go rewash hands or accidentally cross-contaminate your cooking spray. Yum! Finally, keep one hand “wet” and one “dry” when dipping the chicken. That way, in case you did forget something you can at least use one hand to grab something. 🙂
We hope you love this salad as much as we do! If you don’t normally like the flavor of quinoa try it again in this recipe. My husband, that normally doesn’t LOVE when I make quinoa, didn’t even know the chicken was coated with it and thought it was delicious! 🙂
Here’s to Spring and baby steps!
Crispy Quinoa Chicken & Strawberry, Mango Spring Salad
- 8-10 cups Spring mix & Romaine mix
- 1-2 fresh sliced mangoes
- 1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh crumbled feta
- Optional: sliced candied almonds
Crispy Chicken Ingredients:
- 1 cup quinoa (dry)*tip below for how to cook it
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, (evenly sized)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup almond flour or wheat flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Briannas Home Style Poppy Seed & Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing- mix ½ & ½
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees f.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. (I used avocado oil or olive oil spray)
- In a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions, and cool to room temperature. (I like to cook it in chicken broth to cut the bitter taste)
- Season chicken with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper, to taste.
- Working in small batches, dredge chicken first in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in quinoa mixture, pressing slightly to coat each breast.
- Place chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. If you want them really crispy, you can spray them with oil if you would like. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (breasts) or 15-20 minutes (chicken tenderloins), or until golden brown, and cooked through. When the chicken is done and if it’s not browned, turn the oven on broil & let it brown the quinoa for a minute or two. It will make the quinoa extra crispy Yummo!
- While chicken is cooking, arrange salad ingredients in large bowl or on individual plates.
- Toss lightly with dressing.
- Slice chicken on the diagonal, & serve warm topped over your beautiful strawberry, mango spring salad.