Seasonal asparagus and healthy quinoa with a dash of lemon and cumin come together beautifully in this salad! This was my birthday week and the result was a little too much fun. There was quite a bit of celebration, running around, eating out, and especially eating a few too many treats. Though I had the most wonderful time, now it’s time for a little TLC for my body which includes cleaning up my diet. This salad is a great way to start. I got the asparagus from the farmers market, as it is in season you should be able to find it plentifully.. I’ve finally hopped on the quinoa train – it is actually a seed – and I hope you will too. You should be able to buy quinoa in most grocery stores. I enjoy this salad as a side but also as a meal on its own. The lemon is light and refreshing and the cumin (though optional, a little goes a long way!) adds more complexity to the dish It’s the perfect thing to get you up and running again after an extravaganza… or five.
Asparagus and Quinoa Salad
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4-6 (depending on if it’s a meal or a side)
- ½ bunch asparagus
- ½ white, yellow or red onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper
- ¼ cup dry quinoa
- 1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- ½ lemon
- 3 shakes cumin
- Basil oil instead of regular olive oil is fabulous – if you have it, use it
- If you don’t have lemon, use rice wine vinegar instead
- If you don’t have/like quinoa, you can use cous cous or bulgur instead
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash your asparagus well and chop off about two inches of the bottoms of the stalks,
then chop into two inch pieces. Toss in a bit of olive oil and place into a baking pan (or baking sheet). Place into oven and allow to cook for about 30 minutes. I like them to be really well roasted and even a little charred but you can cook them for less time if you like. Mix them every about every ten minutes so that they get cooked evenly.
Dice your onion as small as possible and add to your serving bowl. Add about ½ tsp salt and rub well on onions. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or until onions are no longer bitter.
Cook quinoa according to package directions on stove top.
Wash and cut up your bell pepper so that the pieces are approximately equal in size to the asparagus.
Open the garbanzo beans and rinse well. Once quinoa is cooked, add to bowl along with asparagus, peppers and chickpeas. Drizzle some olive oil (about ½ tbsp) and mix well. Squeeze your lemon and add to the bowl, mix well again. You can also grate or zest in a bit of lemon peel if you like. Add a few shakes of cumin (optional). Taste and add as much salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm or after chilling in the fridge.