Although pesto doesn’t make for the most photographic food item, I can assure you that this dish is delicious. Asparagus is in full bloom right now and this quinoa salad incorporates it in it’s best form; roasted.
There are so many different types of pestos out there, although many people stick to the typical basil and pine nut variety. This was made with spinach and almonds and has a fantastic creamy texture from greek yogurt that’s mixed in at the end. A little parmesan cheese and garlic are added as well and blended in a food processor to make the base.
Next, mix in the greek yogurt.
And this is the beautiful outcome. This is delicious on any type of meat or fish and it also tastes amazing on sandwiches. So don’t be afraid to have a little extra.
Next, cut up some asparagus and eggplant, toss them with a small amount of olive oil, salt + pepper, and roast them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Cut them into bite size pieces and set aside while you cook the chicken and quinoa.
Cook the quinoa according to instructions and at the same time, pan fry a few chicken breasts. If your chicken breasts are on the thicker side, slice them in half so that you have thinner cutlets. Then sprinkle them with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
When the quinoa and chicken are both done cooking, you’re ready to assemble the salad!
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and toss it all together with the creamy pesto.
This dish can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Don’t be intimidated by the multiple steps involved in this recipe. They are all super easy and it makes for a great make-ahead dish. I very often will cook the chicken and quinoa at the beginning of the week and store it in the fridge for salads like this. Then all you have to do on that night is roast the veggies and make the pesto!
Perfect for a summer evening
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of plain 0% greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup each of chopped asparagus and eggplant, roasted
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt + Pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin cutlets
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt + Pepper
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- To make the pesto, combine the spinach, almonds, Parmesan cheese and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir in greek yogurt
- Cook quinoa according to instructions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place chopped asparagus and eggplant on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes
- Spray a skillet lightly with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add the chicken cutlets and squeeze fresh lemon juice over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Cook about 5 minutes/side or until the chicken is cooked through
- To assemble the salad, cut the chicken into bite size pieces and toss it together with the quinoa and roasted veggies
- Stir the pesto into the salad until it is thoroughly mixed throughout.