Dinner Tonight: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad
Last night I posted a photo of my dinner—a healthified buffalo chicken quinoa salad—on Instagram. Thirty seconds later, my phone started blowing up with likes and requests for the recipe. So here ya have it, ‘Grammers.
This was actually the second time I’d made this recipe in two weeks. See, my husband is a bit of a buffalo wings fan (and a bit of a wings snob, between you and me. He won’t eat anything but the ones with hot buffalo sauce, no matter how good I tell him teriyaki, sweet-and-sour or BBQ wings are.) So I’ve long looked for a healthier swap that would pack all the wings taste he loves, with fewer calories and fat. When I told him once that one wing has about 80 calories and five grams of fat, and he multiplied that by the 20 wings he’d just put away and … yeah. Even he was disgusted.
So when I stumbled upon a recipe for buffalo chicken quinoa, I thought it could be a winner. Guess what? I was totally right! I kid you not when I say that this stuff tastes as good as the bar food—only, of course, you eat it with a fork instead of your fingers. And hey! I just realized that it saves you some napkins, too, so that has to count for something.
I ran the numbers for the nutrition facts for recipe as written, and for 10 servings (the post says it feeds six to 12, depending on much you eat, I guess), it clocks in at 369 calories and 15 fat grams. Not bad, but I think we can trim that a bit more. I made a much smaller batch, of course, but I can tell you that I didn’t use nearly as much olive oil, in proportion, as the recipe specifies. I would suggest adding it a tablespoon (or even half a tablespoon) at a time until you get a taste you like. Cutting out some olive oil will save you some fat and calories. And if you really want to go low-cal, you could use less cheese.
One other quick change to note. I added chopped celery to the recipe, and I would suggest you do the same. I mean, this is supposed to taste like wings, right? So, duh.