This chicken quinoa salad combines dates and oranges, pecans and quinoa, a high-protein grain from South America along with simple chicken breast chunks for a savory week night dinner.
In a large non-stick skillet, cook chicken breast chunks in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Turn to brown evenly. Cook about 15 minutes or until done. Remove from skillet to cool.
In same skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. Cook onion in oil about 2 minutes. Add quinoa to pan and sauté another 5 minutes. Add in the 2 cups of water, 1/ 2 teaspoon of salt, bringing to a boil. Cover, reducing heat, and simmer about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Put quinoa mixture into bowl. Add cooked chicken, oranges, pecans, red onion, dates, asparagus and jalapeño pepper. Toss to combine.
Prepare dressing by combining the juice and extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Mix together with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss together. Top with chopped mint. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Serve at room temperature.