Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad with Grilled Artichokes, California Avocado and Sundried Tomatoes

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Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad

Ever since Camp Blogaway I have been trying to find those delicious mini grilled artichoke hearts that we tasted on the first day of camp.  They’re marinated in sunflower oil and spices,  packed in a “fresh pack” from  Roland Foods.     These yummy little treats have a mild  smoky flavor and are much lighter than the marinated artichoke hearts I’ve had before.    These tasty little grilled artichoke hearts are perfect on a toothpick as an appetizer,  and  they are delicious  in a salad.    Especially in this Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad!

Roland Foods Grilled Artichoke Hearts

Grilled Artichoke Hearts from Roland Foods

Coconut chicken?  Yep.  It was a happy accident.  Our daughter made a super special  coconut cake for Father’s Day.   Later in the week  I found a partial can of coconut milk still sitting in the fridge.   I don’t usually cook with coconut milk,  but that particular day I was stewing   some chicken thighs in a pot with some garlic,  so  I added that coconut milk and let it all simmer until that coconut milk had carmelized on the chicken.  I wish I had taken a photo, but that chicken tasted so good that The Farmer enjoyed it  with some avocado for a late supper.   My new coconut chicken disappeared before I could do anything else with it!

A few days later,  I decided to try again.  This time I had chicken tenders from the freezer and cooked them the same way.    I prepared  2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill quinoa and added it to the chicken, then cut up the first yellow  squash of the season  from my garden and added it to the pot.  The heat from the quinoa and chicken was just enough to cook the squash after I turned off the heat and covered the skillet.   Before serving, I added a package of Roland Grilled Artichoke Hearts and some Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes from Mooney Farms.   And it was good!

Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad

The first incarnation of this salad included a yellow squash from the garden, grilled artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes.

The Farmer happened to mention that our mechanic was coming the next day to work on some ranch vehicles.  Our mobile mechanic is very near and dear to our hearts, so we plan a nice lunch for him when he’s  working  here for the day.   He  has nicknamed himself  “The Atttitude”,  and  enjoys spending some time visiting in the kitchen during the lunch break.   He has successfully dropped some weight  in the last several months, so I didn’t  want to serve a lunch that would  set him back.  The chicken quinoa salad would be perfect!   So I went back to the garden and found two more squash and cooked them with a sweet onion in some more coconut milk.

 

adding coconut milk to the squash and onion

Adding coconut milk to the squash and sweet onion

When the squash was just beginning  to be  tender, I  added it to the  leftover  chicken quinoa salad, along with another package of Roland  grilled artichoke hearts.  When the men came in for lunch,  they dished up  the salad, still  warm, and topped it  with chunks of delicious ripe avocado.

avocado on top of quinoa chicken salad

Topped with creamy California avocados!

Success!  Both The Farmer and The Attitude loved the salad! The coconut milk smells wonderful while the chicken is cooking, and adds just a touch of sweetness.   Those grilled artichoke hearts were a hit too.  I love them so much that I ‘ve signed up for a subscription through Amazon.com.    Now I can get recurring shipments of those delicious artichoke hearts just like others receive their avocados from our farm every month through California Avocados Direct!

Here’s the recipe for my Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad!  (P. S.  You may want to try your favorite seasonings…one friend added cayenne pepper and a dash of cinnamon to their portion.)

Coconut Chicken Quinoa Salad with Grilled Artichokes, Avocado and Sundried Tomatoes
Recipe Type: Main Dish Salad
Author: Mimi Holtz (Mimi Avocado)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 8
This healthy quinoa salad features chicken and vegetables cooked in coconut milk and can be served chilled or warm.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2-3 small zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder or two cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked Bob’s Red Mill quinoa
  • 1 or 2 packages Roland grilled artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 cup Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • several ripe California avocados
Instructions
  1. Brown the chicken in a large skillet. Add the garlic powder and 1/2 can coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is very tender and the coconut milked has reduced. Chop the chicken into bitesize pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, rinse and cook 2 cups of quinoa according to the directions on the package. When the chicken is done, fold the cooked quinoa into the chicken.
  3. Thinly slice the squash and onion and sautee in the olive oil. Add the remaining 1/2 can of coconut milk and cook until the squash is al dente.
  4. Fold the squash and onion mixture into the quinoa and chicken.
  5. Add the grilled artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled. Top with chunks of ripe avocado.

Join Dine & Dish and Cookin’ Canuck for the California Avocado 4th of July Blast, sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.

 

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4 Comments

  1. That sounds so good! It reminds me of a recipe I need to fix again that uses coconut milk in place of water to cook brown rice, mix in some finely chopped fresh pineapple and pine nuts. When ready to serve I also sprinkled some finely chopped pistachio nuts and yes, sliced avo!
    Linda C Smith recently posted..Art and Photography – a conversation with California Photographer Bill HackettMy Profile

  2. I think I need to use coconut milk more often, too! I’m always afraid the leftover will get forgotten in the fridge and get thrown out!
    Laura @ Family Spice recently posted..Red, White & Blue Boozy Popsicles – Made With Dry Ice!My Profile

    • I realized after writing the post that Roland Foods has coconut milk too. And quinoa. Could have used all their products, but was making this one with what we had on hand.

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