One of our family’s goals this year is to eat healthier, and something that has made that easier has been involving the kids in helping prepare healthy snacks and meals. They like the challenge and are more likely to eat the healthy option if they’ve made it themselves.
An Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe the Kids Can Help Make!
This Chicken and Red Quinoa Salad is an easy recipe the kids can help make and is delicious served hot or cold, too.
Healthy Chicken & Red Quinoa Salad
Red quinoa has been a huge find for our family this year – it is a complete source of protein, a grain, and adds a chewy, nutty element to any dish. It has the same health benefits as Golden Quinoa but is such a bright and beautiful color. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare – I don’t know what took me so long to get on the quinoa train!
I love serving this salad hot and then saving cold leftovers for lunches the next day. Swap out the vegetables or add a small amount of dressing for a completely new salad each time.
We use Village Harvest Red Quinoa because all of their grains are natural and unprocessed. The company also supports some wonderful global initiatives, so I feel good about supporting them, too. They have other natural and unprocessed rice and grain options, too; from Golden Quinoa to Arborio to Black Rice and more!
To make the salad, I first follow the package directions to get the quinoa started on the stove. Isn’t the color beautiful?!
Meanwhile, I heat a tiny amount of oil in a frying pan and get the kids to help me prep the veggies and fruit. For this salad, we used ripped kale, chopped apple, and fresh corn kernels, along with a dash of minced garlic. The kids love ripping the kale from the stems, and we use a child-safe apple cutter to allow them to help cut up the apples.
By the time the kids and I are done with the vegetables, the oil is usually hot enough for me to add them to the pan.
Once the quinoa comes to a boil, I give it a single stir, place a lid on it and remove from heat. The quinoa absorbs the water and finishes cooking in only about 5-7 minutes while you pull together the rest of the salad.
Once the kale is wilted and the apple and corn are nicely browned, I set the veggies and fruit aside in your serving dish and add a bit more oil to our frying pan for the chicken.
The chicken only takes about 5-7 minutes to cook through. It should be completely white when cut open (with no pink) and have a nice golden color on the outside.
Once the chicken is done, the kids help mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl or serving container. I usually remove the children’s portions at this point and then add a pinch of salt and drizzle of coconut oil for the grown-up servings. The coconut oil works perfectly with the red quinoa.
Print this Chicken & Quinoa Salad Recipe:
Chicken and Red Quinoa Salad Recipe
- Heat 2 tablespoon coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, 2 cups fresh kale (torn), and 1 apple (chopped) to the pan, then cook over medium heat until kale is wilted and apple and corn are lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside
- Add 1 chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces) to pan and saute until cooked through (an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Combine 1 cup red quinoa (prepared), reserved vegetable mixture, and chicken in a serving bowl.
- Add salt to taste before serving.
Do you enjoy cooking with quinoa? Do you think your kids would like to help with this quinoa salad? Join the conversation in the comments below!
More Easy Recipe Ideas:
- Star Quesadillas for Kids
- Silly Star Pasta Salad – the Kids Will Love!
- Easy Southwest Pork Taco Boats