If I were a vegetarian, which would mean that hell had frozen over, I would eat this every day.
Quinoa is native to South America but has become wildly popular worldwide, especially with health nuts and vegetarians, because it has about 9x the protein, and far less carbohydrates, than other grains. The grain is small and round, and when cooked the germ unwinds and looks like a “tail”. This tail remains slightly al dente, which gives quinoa a bit of a bite. Still, don’t overcook it or it will eventually turn to mush.
This dish is easy, light and fresh.
Ingredients – serves 2
asparagus, six spears blanched, shocked and drained
1 cup quinoa, cooked, drained and cooled
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
3 scallions, sliced very fine on the bias
1/2 a medium cucumber, peeled, small dice
4 dried apricots, chopped fine or fine julienne to add visual interest
italian dressing or vinaigrette of your choice ** recipe below if you’re at a loss
Quick Italian Dressing
3:1 oil to vinegar (for this dish, olive oil and white wine vinegar or lemon works well)
salt and white pepper to taste
- Coat asparagus in dressing and set aside (they will go on top)
- Put cooled quinoa and all vegetable ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add vinaigrette (not too much, you can always add more but you cant take it out)
- Mix until just blended thoroughly. There should not be a pool of dressing in the bottom.
- Taste it. If it needs some bite squeeze lemon juice and stir gently.
- Plate and add asparagus.