Dreaming of Marrakesh nights? Bring them into your kitchen.
I am a big advocate for preparing your weekly menu and grocery list prior to setting foot in a grocery store. It always makes for more sensible shopping. However, it’s not always realistic. Sometimes you find yourself starving at the supermarket, with a basket that is brimming with nonsensical items. The key here is to embrace your spontaneity, instead of beating yourself up over it. If you keep an open mind, you can make something out of nothing (or even nonsense) most of the time.
I try my hardest to make food that will work for me through the week. Most of my Sunday afternoons are spent preparing side dishes that are easy to add to on-the-go lunches. However, this particular week I over-estimated the nights I would be cooking, so around 3pm I was faced with cooking chicken before it went bad, and using the delicious Mango Avocado Salsa before it got mushy. I also realized I hadn’t had my green shake that morning, so I needed to fit in something green before the end of the day.
After perusing my pantry and fridge for inspiration I settled on Moroccan Chicken Salad with Mango Avocado Salsa.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I cant say it enough: having a well stocked spice rack and pantry can get you a long way when cooking on the fly. Without it, my salad would have been a bit more banal, and my chicken much less flavorful.
Moroccan Chicken Spice Rub
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
2 cups green Kale, rinsed thoroughly and chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup garbanzo beans
½ cup quinoa (leftovers, or pre-made from the salad bar)
1 cup Mango Avocado Salsa (recipe here)
¼ cup chopped candied Walnuts (Trader Joes)
1. Rinse the chicken, pat dry with paper towels, then place in a non reactive baking dish or bowl.
2. Combine the spice mixture and add to the chicken along with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley. Cover and let marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over a high flame, until you can feel the heat with your hand over the pan.
4. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, and spread around making sure the whole pan is coated.
5. Add the chicken breast tenders in one even layer in the pan. Let them sit for about 4 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 4 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat, but let the chicken rest in the pan while you prepare the rest of the salad.
7. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the chopped kale, spinach, garbanzo beans, candied walnuts, pre-made quinoa and ½ cup of the mango avocado salsa.
8. Once the chicken has cooled, chop it coarsely, add to the salad, and toss with a vinaigrette.
9. After plating, sprinkle the remaining mango avocado salsa over the top of the salad for garnish.