Very often the recipe ideas that appeal to me most are the practical ones – the ones I can pack up in a plastic container, stick in my bag and bring to work, without worrying about it being squished, about it needing reheating or about it needing to be eaten immediately. Plus dishes like this, which combine protein, grains and a little fruit for a well balanced meal, are top on my list of easy dinners.

I suggest using green or yellow apples such as Golden Delicious or Granny Smith because they hold their shape better, are crisper and tend to brown less quickly. Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits, and I love throwing the bright, jewel-like seeds in to salads, but you can leave them out if you don't like them or can't find them for sale near you.

Chicken, Apple and Quinoa Salad

3 cups quinoa, uncooked

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons flour

3 medium green or yellow apples

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons soy milk

salt and pepper

1/2 cup pomegranate arils – optional

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, set aside.

Coat both sides of each chicken cutlet with flour and pan fry in a touch of canola oil, stirring until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Let cool and shred in to chunks with two forks.

Peel and dice the apples in to 1/2" cubes.

In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa, chicken, apples and pomegranate.

Separately, mix together the mayonnaise and soy milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir the mayonnaise mixture gently in to the quinoa, being carefuly not to burst any pomegranate seeds. Let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.