Monday, 3 February 2014

Summer salad with quinoa, peach and sweet dukkah chicken

It's really hot here.
We've not had a day under 28 degrees for about 2 weeks.... TOO LONG! Today we're sitting on a cool 35 degrees, with the next 7 days expected to be between 35-40. Delight. The amazing CFA have been doing it tough battling fires that continue to burn in our area. Hats off to these awesome people who are keeping us all safe.

This hot weather has me pining for a refreshingly light salad and simple protein to keep me satisfied. And since peaches and nectarines are in season here I thought I'd throw them in for that lovely fresh sweetness.
The dukkah chicken is also great- since it's baked, you don't need to stand next to a hot pan. Pop them in the oven for 12-15 min and you're done.
This salad is so delicious- the dressing is a light vinaigrette which matches perfectly with sweet peach, creamy avocado and nutty quinoa, and that satisfying crunch of cos lettuce. Top with the dukkah chicken (hot or cold) and you've got a scrumptious lunch or dinner that everyone will love!

Summer salad with quinoa, peach and sweet dukkah chicken

Serves 2

Dukkah chicken

1 chicken breast, cut into 2 cm strips 
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cracked black and white pepper
1/4 cup almonds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon pistachos 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Grind spices together in spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) until finely ground. Add in nuts and seeds and pulse (or smash up) until chunky. 
Toss chicken through dukkah mix, coating evenly. Spread evenly onto a lined baking tray. Pop into oven for 12-15 min (depending on how thick you've cut your chicken).

Tip- I find using whole spices and grinding them myself gives a better flavour and fills your kitchen with a delicious scent. But pre bought ground spices will do just fine.

Quinoa and peach salad

1 head of cos lettuce (or use whatever you like, spinach leaves, rocket, lettuce will also work well)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 avocado diced
1 peach or nectarine (or even mango would work well) finely sliced


Rinse and cook quinoa in 1 cup water, simmer gently with lid on until you can see 'tails'- about 12 min. Add more water if it's not cooked and you've run out of water (test a little bit- if it's still crunchy it's not cooked).
Once cooked, spread out on a plate to cool.
Wash and drain lettuce, cutting up into bite sized chunks. Add in avocado and peach.

Vinaigrette Dressing 

(enough for 4 serves, so keep some aside)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of maple syrup/ rice malt syrup
1/2 cup olive oil/ avocado oil.

Whisk together ingredient until combined.  

Add cooled quinoa to salad, drizzle dressing over and toss through salad. 
Plate up salad, and top with chicken and some lightly roasted almonds if you like :)

Clair xx