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Curried Chicken Salad With Quinoa and Farro

In my quest to improve our eating habits at the Dougherty house and in direct response to the 15 pounds of bacon Ted bought at Jim's Meat Market last week- I made a relatively healthy dinner last night. About 8 years ago, we took Ted's Mom and Dad out to Stockton Island for the day. Ted's Dad, Frank, was possibly the most enthusiastic dinner/lunch/breakfast guest I have ever (or will ever) cook for and I knew he loved Indian curry. I was really into Ina Garten at the time and was inspired to make her curried couscous salad for our lunch on the dock that afternoon. I just ran across a picture from that lunch so long ago: Sadie was a nut brown four-year old, Will and Jack were shorter than me, Charlie was a sand covered toddler, Guinness, my Newfie, was standing watch at the beach and Frank was still with us. Everytime I make this salad, I travel right back to that afternoon. Sometimes a meal is so much more than just a meal- it's a key to unlock memories from the past. Since it feels like summer and I was thinking about Frank, I decided salad for dinner sounded like a grand idea. I had farro and quinoa in the cupboard, fresh curry powder from Ulf (read about the curry party here), olive oil from Tuscany and I unearthed some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer. The kids were excited about dinner until they saw the curry powder and craisins go in the bowl. I lost a good majority of my audience at that point but Ted and I had a nice, healthy dinner.

 Curried Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Farro

3/4 cup non fat plain yogurt

1/2 cup good olive oil

2 tsp salt

black pepper to taste

3 to 6 tbsp curry powder (to taste)

2 cups quinoa, cooked

2 cups farro, cooked

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 red pepper, chopped

8 green onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 cup craisins or currants

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 cup silvered almonds

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup chives, chopped

Mix yogurt, olive oil, salt and curry powder in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate for a couple hours to let the flavors develop. Serve cold.