I’ve recently started my blog (in June, to be precise). My plan was to concentrate on summer recipes, starting my posts with something like: “the sun is shining and it is time to chill with…”, “the picnic season is ON, let’s grill some…”, or “what can be more refreshing on a hot summer day, than…”
Well, the summer in Hamburg laughed at my plans. But I just came back from sunny Mallorca, where it was hot and beautiful, where I saw families and friends getting together at the beach for sunset and bbq. So I am recharged, inspired and positive, and I say: “screw the rain with grilled chicken skewers!”
This recipe is meant for a picnic bbq, for a summer garden party, or, as in my case, for boosting the mood and getting a summer feeling.
Here I use yogurt marinade, which I love and use very often in cooking. There are several reasons for that: first of all, yogurt is a product that I always have in my fridge; second, it makes the meat or whatever you marinade (shrimps, champions, other vegetables) juicy and tender; last but not least, it never gets boring, since scope for experiment with adding various spices and flavors is endless. Not to mention that this way to marinade is very healthy, low in calories, and super easy. You just soak chopped chicken in the marinade, put it in the fridge and forget about it until you are ready to grill.
This time, I use fresh coriander, garlic, chili and sesame seeds yogurt marinade. Among my other favorite options are also: yogurt-curry marinade and yogurt soy-sauce marinade, which you’ll certainly learn about in my future posts.
Along with the chicken skewers, I made a light quinoa salad. I have to say, when I first tried quinoa, I was not immediately convinced. Nevertheless, as I read a lot about its health benefits and stumbled upon many cool recipes with it, I tried to introduce more quinoa into my menu and to experiment with it. My discovery, for instance, was that while I was not thrilled about white quinoa, I really liked red one.
Quinoa works great in summer salads, as it absorbs the juices from tomatoes and other juicy vegetables. This is especially handy when you need to prepare a salad in advance and bring it along to a party. Adding quinoa will ensure that when you open the container with your homemade salad the vegetables won’t be drawn in their juices (like it happens sometimes with Greek salad that was left waiting for too long).
This recipe yields two people, so depending on the scope of your picnic/bbq/dinner – double, triple or quadruple the ingredients.
- 2 chicken breast fillets (skinless)
- 150 grams of yogurt (I used 3,2 % fat)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- juice of one lime
- ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped in quarters
- 1 small cucumber, cut in cubes
- 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves
- juice of half a lemon
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- In a large bowl or in a container mix together yogurt, lime juice, coriander, chili, minced garlic, sesame seeds, salt, pepper and oil olive. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (approx. 2,5 cm/1 inch). Place them into the marinade. Mix well. Cover, and let marinade in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
- Thread the pieces of chicken onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in cold water for 20-30 minutes (this will prevent the wood from burning during grilling).
- Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-high heat, grease it with a bit of oil. Place the skewers on a pan or grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes turning regularly until cooked through.
- For the salad, cook 1 cup of quinoa following the instructions on the package. Let it cool down. Mix quinoa with vegetables and coriander. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.