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There are two secret flavor weapons in this olive and chicken quinoa salad. First is the olives. You probably didn’t even think about adding this bonus flavor burster to your phase one elimination diet plan! Any olive will add a briney flavor that you won’t get from many other ingredients. Use whatever olives are in your price bracket. If you can afford more high quality olives, by all means, do. However, if you’re like me and trying to cook on a budget, just get a can of pitted black olives.
If you don’t have a food processor to make the olive paste you can finely chop the olives and mince the parsley by hand, then sitr together with the other seasonings. There is always a workaround when you don’t have some equipment available to you!
The second secret flavor weapon is the pickled red onions. I love making these for salads, wraps, tacos, or even to put on pizza! The vinegar and sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the red onions and cooking them a little in the boiling pickling liquid takes the edge off them so you don’t have the lingering bad taste in your mouth they can sometimes leave. I like to leave them in fairly large strips to add a burst of color and flavor to any dish.
If you have moved on from phase one of your elimination diet this salad would go great in a wrap. Simply roll it up in a tortilla and you have a whole new meal! However, if you’re still not touching wheat the quinoa in this salad keeps it very filling and serves as a full lunch.
What are olives anyway?
Fruit! Olives are small tree fruits related to mangoes and cherries.
Okay, so what is quinoa?
Seeds! Quinoa is treated like a grain but it is actually the seeds of a flowering plant.
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- 1 cup shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot)
- ½ red onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 6 oz black olives, drained of liquid
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- drizzle honey
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- bring white vinegar, sugar, and black pepper to a boil in a small sauce pan
- remove from heat and stir in the sliced red onions, set aside
- place the olives, parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and honey in a food processor and pulse until a choppy paste texture is reached
- after the onion has quick pickled for at least 10 minutes (the longer it sits the stronger the flavor) drain the vinegar from the onions
- toss chicken, cooked quinoa, carrots, and olive paste together
- top with pickled red onions and serve chilled or room temperature