Monday, April 16, 2012

asparagus quinoa with garden greens

if today's weather is any indication of what summer will be like, we're in for a rough one. it's almost 90 degrees and we haven't had substantial rain in so long that the lawn is burnt crispy! (so much for 'april showers bring may flowers'). in fact, farmer's almanac is predicting an unusually hot and dry summer for the eastern states. this is not what i wanted to hear.

on the brighter side, my greens from last season have started to bolt and the flower buds are delicious. they look and taste similar to broccoli and are perfect with a little lemon and olive oil. below you can see i added the buds to a side salad of spinach, arugula, kale and mushrooms.

asparagus quinoa is made often in our house, especially now that asparagus is in season. this dish is quick, easy, nutritious, and always well-received by friends and family. the recipe is susan voison's of fatfree vegan kitchen - it was originally posted in an article on susan sometime in 2009 that i can no longer find online.

asparagus quinoa
(makes 4-6 servings)

1 C quinoa, rinsed well
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C vegetable broth
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 C sliced portobello mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 tsp lemon juice
1 T red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. toast quinoa in saucepan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. add garlic and cook another minute. add remaining ingredients except asparagus, chick peas, lemon juice, and red pepper. bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat. cook 10 minutes. add chick peas and asparagus. cover and cook 8 more minutes. stir in lemon juice and red pepper.

kelli's notes: water can be substituted for vegetable broth and button mushrooms for portobello. sometimes i omit red peppers and chickpeas - they taste great but aren't essential to the dish. other vegetables can also be used such as squash and peas. since i like my quinoa on the crunchier side, i use 1 1/4 cup quinoa or a little less than 2 cups water/broth. for a spicy kick add a bit of cayenne pepper.


  1. Yum! This is a beautiful dish. I've been loving quinoa with veggies lately and the addition of mushroom and asparagus sounds lovely.

  2. Wow, here it will never be so hot in spring. I hope you get some rain soon!

    The dish looks really yummy. I tried quinoa for the first time last year and really liked it. Should make it again.

  3. That might just be the prettiest salad ever :) Love the flowers!

  4. What a great summer salad (or spring...).


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