This is an ideal salad for those on our easy weight loss programs as well as simply health-conscious individuals. It’s a perfect blend of protein and fiber coupled with antioxidants that combat aging, fight free radical damage and improve your overall health. The chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, which fills you up and requires more calories to digest. It also helps you build lean muscle mass—and the more you have, the more calories you burn on a daily basis. Gluten-free quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods you can eat and is also loaded with fiber, magnesium, iron, calcium and B vitamins. Both the chicken and quinoa are classified as complete proteins, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids.
The tomatoes in this recipe are packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. This makes them powerful tools for anti-aging, as both those nutrients help protect the skin from UV damage. Tomatoes are potent sources of lycopene, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants we can consume. Lycopene promotes healthy eyesight and fights age-related macular degeneration, while boosting brain, heart and bone health. With their high water content, cucumbers are extremely hydrating. They are another great source of vitamin C, as well as biotin, silica, molybdenum, potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin K.
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4 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups quinoa, cooked
4 cups baby spinach
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the chicken, quinoa, dried basil, tomatoes and cucumber in a bowl and toss together. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Split the baby greens equally among four plates. Add the chicken quinoa mixture to each plate.
Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar and mix well. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over each salad plate and serve.
Makes four servings.