Whenever I visit a deli that has curried chicken salad, I always go for this sweet and savory dish, whether it’s to top a salad or stuff a sandwich. While working with the Novato Unified School District in California, I created this dish to excite teens with a menu option that felt more upscale deli than school food cafeteria. It not only tasted great but was a really healthy source of grains, protein and fresh fruits and veggies. This dish is great on top of lettuce, stuffed in a pita pocket, or eaten atop crackers as a snack.
Get the kids involved:
- Ask your child to help you make the yogurt curry sauce. Let them smell the curry and and tell them that curry is a mixture of all kinds of yummy spices from far away lands. Let them dip their finger in the honey. That way, they’ll know this is going to be a sweet sauce they’ll like.
- Have them help you measure the cranberries. Let them have a taste of one. You can ask them to be your “quality control” checker!
- Have them try some celery before you toss it in. We like to make sure the kiddos know everything that goes into a dish, so that when they see it on their plates, they already know that the dish has all the yummy things they like inside.
- When it’s time to try the curried chicken quinoa, ask your child how they want to eat it: on top of one of their favorite crackers, in a pita pocket, or stuffed in a lettuce leaf. This way, your child is part of the decision making around their food, but they are choosing from three healthy options.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons/pinches of salt
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 8 oz of plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 green onions chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries chopped
- ½ rotisserie chicken (or 2 cooked chicken breasts) chopped
- Cook quinoa: put quinoa and water in a pot, add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer, cover and set your timer for 15 minutes.
- In a big bowl, mix yogurt, curry power, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt and honey.
- Add all the chopped veggies and cooked chicken.
- When quinoa has finished cooking (dry at bottom of pot when you stick your spoon in to check), spread out on a cookie sheet to dry for 5-10 minutes (this keeps it from continuing to steam in the pot and get mushy). Then, add quinoa to the yogurt/veggie mixture!
- Serve on top of crackers, in lettuce cups, or inside a pita pocket.
- In a mason jar, combine these ingredients and shake well - 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard; 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; 1 teaspoon of salt; 6 tablespoons of olive oil; 1 tablespoon honey
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