Greek Chicken Quinoa Salad with Tzatziki Sauce #WorldDiabetes
I have to tell you, I have a new found appreciation for anyone who sticks to a strict diabetic diet. I never realized how difficult it was to come up with a diabetic friendly recipe until I needed to create one myself. Granted, I went pretty strict with mine – low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein. I’m not sure if every diabetic eats like this (I know my dad doesn’t – yeah dad, I’m calling you out on the interwebs); but if I’m going to write about diabetes awareness shouldn’t I go all out?
Today, November 14th is World Diabetes Day and Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food has put together an amazing roster of bloggers to raise diabetes awareness. Did you know that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States are diabetic? That’s 8.3% of our population.
Diabetes doesn’t just affect your blood sugar levels, there can be complications with your eyesight, kidneys, nervous system, even possible amputation. I don’t meant to scare you, but it’s a scary disease. It freaks me out – my blood sugar drops occasional and I do worry that I will develop diabetes at some point in my life. It runs in my family, as I mentioned, my dad has type II, as did his mother, my bubby. It doesn’t help that my family has tendency to gain weight in the middle section (always a constant battle I tell you) and a fondness for sweets and snacks (another battle). You know what helps? A healthy diet and exercise.
2 bell peppers (any variety), seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch dice
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice from 2 lemons, 2 tablespoons olive oil and za'atar seasoning. Place the chicken thighs skin side up and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinading, prepare the tzatziki sauce by whisking together the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic and salt in a small bowl. Transfer the sauce to a small colander and let drain over the bowl in the refrigerator while preparing the meal.
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat the chicken skin dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper and drizzle the top with a small amount of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown the juice runs clear.
While the chicken is baking, bring the water to boil in a medium pot. Once boiling stir in the quinoa and return to boil, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all the water. If the quinoa is fully cooked and there is still some extra liquid, drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together the juice from 1/2 lemon and red wine vinegar - slowly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil while whisking to create an emulsion.
Pour half the dressing over the warm quinoa. Toss in the chopped vegetables and stir in the remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken over a bed of quinoa sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and tzatziki sauce for dipping on the side.