Light and easy to digest, this deliciously nutritious and flavoursome crispy apple, strawberry, quinoa and chicken salad will set you up nicely for an afternoon warm weather workout or help you recover afterwards. It’s brimming with a colourful variety of ‘rainbow’ foods, each colour containing different ‘superfood’ phytochemicals and antioxidants which support the immune system, help prevent cancers and heart disease and boost both mood and metabolism.
I’m massively into quinoa at the moment. Packed with low fat, sustaining carbohydrate AND all eight of the essential amino acids, as well as important minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and iron, plus a good amount of fibre too, you definitely get more bang for your buck than you do with many other carbs. The pink peppercorns too, have a purpose greater than their fragrant, sweet and delicate flavour, they can also fight against infections and relieve muscle stiffness and aches.
- 25g walnuts
- 70g quinoa
- 2 free range skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small crisp apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced
- 200g strawberries
- 75g bag of watercress
- For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaped tsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
- Pinch of salt
- Energy 360 kcal
- Protein 28.2g
- Carbs 26.8 g Sugars 8.2 g
- Fat 16 g Saturates 2.4g
- Salt 0.2 g
- Fibre 5.8 g
- Serves: 4 as a starter (2 as a main course)
- Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) gas mark 4. Lay the walnuts on a baking tray and lightly roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
- Cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions. When cooked, transfer to a sieve and rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain completely.
- Lay the chicken breasts out on a large chopping board and, using a heavy rolling pin, bash them to flatten them out. Rub the chicken all over with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan to hot and griddle the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Set aside to rest while you prepare the salad.
- In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Gently turn the apple slices over in a little of the dressing to prevent them going brown.
- Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks. Slice thinly.
- Slice the chicken breast.
- With your hands, toss the watercress together with the quinoa and a tablespoon of the dressing, then arrange on a large flat serving plate, or divide between individual plates. Scatter over the apple slices, the strawberries, the walnuts and the slices of chicken. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.