Mantra for this week:
Eat spring-like foods, and spring will come faster.
One can dream, right?
This past weekend was a gloriously sunny one here in Vancouver, a welcome contrast to a very wet start to the year. I’ve noticed lately how much my body has been craving the outdoors, breathing fresh air and soaking in a little vitamin D – even if it’s barely above 0 degrees. I took the opportunity to get outside for a walk, completely disconnect from tech for a few hours, and hang out with a few of my girlfriends. It all felt wonderful, and got me super excited for spring/summer hiking adventures to come.
Speaking of girlfriends, let’s chat about International Women’s Day. It’s tomorrow, and since I’ve been part of a working team for an International Women’s Day project at work, something that’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Back when I was a teenager, I went to an all-girls junior high school. It was named after Nellie McClung, a Canadian feminist, social activist and politician who played a big role in the fight for women’s rights back in the early 1900s. I’ve never considered myself a feminist, but all the work I’ve been in for International Women’s Day this year has had me feeling especially grateful for the incredibly strong ladies in my life.
To call out just a few…
- My mum, grandmothers and aunts – From raising kids with strong values and navigating the single parent game, to establishing themselves in their careers, to battling life-threatening diseases and doing it all with grace – even when they probably didn’t feel very graceful.
- My female managers, co-workers and professional mentors – For their wisdom, courage to take risks, ability to lead, motivate and inspire – probably more than most of them know.
- My friends – For being there to celebrate, to laugh, to cry, to go on yoga and brunch dates with, to text at ridiculous hours, and to rescue one another from online dating disasters.
Of course, there’s also the ones I don’t know personally, but whose message still impacts me every day. The public figures, the podcasters, the celebrities on a mission, and women in the wellness industry who are changing it for the better. I’ve got a whole lot of love for these ladies today (and always), and I hope you’ll take some time to express gratitude for the ones in your life, too.
And with that, a completely disjointed and totally un-smooth segue into today’s recipe: this colourful Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Red Curry Chicken. Let’s brighten up our plates and light up our tastebuds with something super fresh and full of flavour, shall we?
Brighten up your plate with this vibrant, flavourful Thai Quinoa Salad with Red Curry Chicken. Crunchy and full of texture, it’s great for bringing excitement back to your desk lunches, or for sharing with a crowd.
For the chicken:
- 454g boneless skinless chicken breast, uncooked
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil, avocado oil or melted coconut oil
For the rest:
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa + 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup each diced cucumber, spiralized or julienne-cut carrots, and shredded purple cabbage
- 3/4 cup sliced sugar snap peas
- 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
- 2 thin green onions, very thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup toasted cashews
- lime wedges, for serving
For the cashew lime dressing (you may have some leftover):
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- 2 tbsp each rice vinegar and low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tsp minced or grated ginger
- juice of 1 lime
- water, to thin as needed
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Whisk together the curry paste, lime juice and oil until smooth. Pour the mixture into a resealable bag or container and add the chicken. Toss to coat as evenly as you can, pressing the paste into the chicken.
- Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet. Bake for ~30-40 mins, or until no longer pink inside.
- Meanwhile, boil the quinoa in water for ~15 mins, or until liquid has absorbed and grains are puffy.
- In a very large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients for the salad. Stir in the quinoa.
- Whisk together the dressing, adding water if needed to thin. (Note it will thicken when stored in the fridge, but can easily be made ahead of time.)
- Pour the dressing over the salad. When the chicken is fully cooked, let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into strips. Toss them into the salad, aiming to coat everything as evenly as possible with dressing.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges to garnish (optional), or divide into 4 portions and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you’d like to make this a meal and add volume, feel free to toss in even larger quantities of the veggies listed above, or serve the recipe on top of lightly-dressed shredded greens.
Tell me… who’s one woman in your life who you’re especially inspired by? What is it about her that makes you feel this way?