Chicken and cauliflower quinoa salad

Know what’s unpleasant? Waking up late and realising that you’re meant to just be arriving at work. Not exactly what you want when you’ve barely been at a job for a week.

Serves me right for going to sleep at about 2am so often when I was on my sabbatical! My body clock still hasn’t quite adjusted.

I’ve always just assumed that everyone cooks out of their fridge. It’s fun to follow a recipe and buy all the specific ingredients but in the real world, people put many meals together using what they have at home.

Some of the best unlikely combinations can happen that way!

Chicken and cauliflower quinoa salad

Feeds: 4 people generously
Start cooking: 1 hour before eating

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 x large chicken breast, poached and shredded (about one and half cups)
  • 1/2 x small head of cauliflouwer
  • 1 cup x quinoa (either red or white is fine)
  • 2 x jalapeno chillis, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 handful x coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons x light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon x sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon x rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon x mirin
  • 1-2 x small red chillis, chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon x minced ginger


  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Wash the quinoa and place with 3 cups of water into a small saucepan and simmer according to the packet instructions. Drain and cool when cooked.
  3. In the meantime, pick and cut the cauliflower into very small florets. Blanch in simmering, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain. Heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the drained cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes until tender and caramelised. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You also could roast it in the oven instead.
  4. Toss together the chicken, quinoa, cauliflower, coriander and jalapenos. Drizzle over the dressing and mix gently with tongs.

This salad is delicious and very filling but I can’t guarantee that it’ll make you wake up in time for work.