Smoky, Southwestern Red Quinoa & Basmati Rice Salad with Grilled Chicken, Black Beans, Fresh Corn, Sugar Plum Tomatoes and Cilantro, with a Tangy, Honey-BBQ Vinaigrette

(Makes a touch over 1 lunch portion, or a “generous-sized” lunch portion)


• Olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
¼ cup red quinoa, uncooked and not rinsed
¼ cup basmati (or jasmine) rice, uncooked and not rinsed
• Pinch or two salt
1 cup water
2 chicken tenderloins, cooked and diced
¼ cup black beans
¼ cup tiny, sugar plum tomatoes, halved
• Kernels from one ear of fresh corn (or about scant ¼ cup frozen and thawed)
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• Honey-BBQ Vinaigrette (recipe below)


-To prepare the red quinoa and rice, place a small or medium-size pot over medium heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of oil; once hot, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in both the red quinoa and the basmati rice, plus a pinch of salt, and toast them in the oil/garlic for about 1-2 minutes; add the water, bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat, and allow the quinoa/rice to gently simmer together for about 18-20 minutes, or until tender; spoon the quinoa/rice into a bowl to cool completely.

-To assemble and store the salad, add the cooked and cooled red quinoa/basmati rice plus all ingredients through the chopped fresh cilantro leaves into a bowl, and toss together to combine; add the salad ingredients into a tupperware or glass container with a snap-top lid, and keep in fridge until ready to enjoy; keep the Honey-BBQ Vinaigrette in a separate, small snap-top container, and toss with the salad when ready to eat.

Honey-BBQ Vinaigrette ingredients:

1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon smoky BBQ sauce
½ teaspoon lime zest
• Pinch or two salt
• Pinch of two cracked black pepper


-In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients with a fork or small whisk until well blended; keep in a small, snap-top container in the fridge until ready to enjoy with the salad.