Hello and welcome to the third salad of the #AKSaladChallenge! How’s it going? Have you been making the salads each week and enjoying fresh, healthy recipes to keep in your fridge? I hope so! I’m just getting back from two weeks of travel and cannot wait to make this salad this week.
This week is one of my absolute FAVORITE salads from the challenge. I love the sweet, ripe blueberries and strawberries paired with the flavor of juicy balsamic-marinated grilled chicken.
And hello, what else isn’t to love? There’s also earthy quinoa, tangy goat cheese, heart-healthy avocado, toasted almonds and peppery arugula. This salad will keep you full all afternoon long. And if you aren’t into chicken, you can always use chickpeas.
All you need to do is layer it up, throw it in the fridge, then get ready to enjoy healthy lunches through the week!
The ingredients are inexpensive too! Try shopping for berries at your farmer’s market.
By the way, this salad makes and EXCELLENT summertime picnic or potluck salad. It’s refreshing and bursting with variety and flavor. Simply toss everything together and then just before serving top it with avocado, goat cheese and almonds. Everyone will go crazy for the flavasss up in there.
Want more salads like this one? Try these!
Balsamic Chicken Berry Quinoa Salad
- For the chicken:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salad:
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup quartered strawberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 1 avocado, diced
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds (or chopped roasted almonds)
- 2-4 cups arugula or baby spinach
- Add chicken and marinade ingredients to a large ziploc bag. Marinate chicken for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
- While you are marinating your chicken, make your quinoa: Add 1 1/2 cup water to a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then, stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for exactly 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and let stand covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Quinoa will pop upon cooking and expand. To help separate the grains, use a fork and fluff the quinoa. Set aside.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop all your ingredients for your salad.
- Next, make your raspberry vinaigrette. Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Set aside.
- Once ready to cook chicken, preheat grill to medium high heat. Lightly oil the grate. Grill chicken breasts for 6-8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink. Once chicken has cooked, transfer to a cutting board and dice into bite sized pieces.
- Make the mason jar salads by dividing ingredients evenly between 4 (32-ounce) large mason jars in the following order: dressing, strawberries, cooked quinoa, blueberries, chicken, goat cheese, avocado, arugula, almonds.
- When ready to serve, pour contents from the mason jar onto a plate or into a bowl and enjoy! Makes 4 large mason jars.
To make vegetarian: replace chicken with 1 (15oz) can chickpeas