As promised, I’m here to review tonight’s dinner. First up on the menu: Lemon-Scented Quinoa with Asparagus, a recipe from Eggs on Sunday. And guess what? I figured out how to put up my photographs, so here’s your first glimpse of the food on my table:
I know my photography needs a little work, but, hey, I’m just getting started. It can only get better from here, right?
I changed the recipe only slightly, opting to double the asparagus (we like to go heavy on the veggies) and add a touch of cayenne pepper to lend a bit of warmth. We really enjoyed this.
It was light and flavorful. As a side dish, it’s perfect just like it is, but as a main course (which it was for us), I would definitely add some toasted nuts and a bit of crumbled goat cheese for extra texture and interest. I’m also curious to see how it would taste with a bit of dijon mustard in the dressing. Lemon, dijon mustard, asparagus…that combination sounds heavenly to me.
I ended up munching on these using my hands. They make great finger food! The flavor is addictive. Although I often find cauliflower a little bland, this method of preparation makes them zesty with a bit of crunch. Mmmmm.
So, here are the recipes, as I prepared them, for these incredibly healthy dishes:
Lemon-Scented Quinoa with Asparagus
2 cups prepared quinoa (see note below for details)
2 pounds asparagus, washed and tough ends discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Bring a pot of water to boil while you prepare the asparagus and the dressing. Also warm your quinoa during this time. (See note below for instructions on preparing quinoa.)
When the water is boiling, toss in the asparagus pieces for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain into a colander as soon as they turn bright green and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.
Toss the warm quinoa, asparagus pieces, and dressing in a bowl to coat evently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with toasted nuts (walnuts would be great) and crumbled goat cheese if you desire, especially if preparing as a main dish.
Note: The best way to prepare quinoa is to soak it overnight in pure water with a little rawapple cider vinegar, yogurt, or kefir. When you’re ready to prepare it, drain and rinse the quinoa. Cook it in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of quinoa. Bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the water is absorbed (10 to 20 minutes). I like to make quinoa like this in large batches over the weekends and freeze 2-cup packs of it. Then, I just throw one of the packs into the fridge the night before preparing a recipe like the one above. Alternatively, you can simply follow the package instructions for preparing quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa, 2 cups of water, simmer for 15 minutes. Soaking it first makes the quinoa even more digestible and breaks down the phytates, compounds that hinder mineral absorption.
Roasted Cauliflower (or Broccoli)
1 medium head cauliflower, washed, trimmed, and cut into bite-size pieces (broccoli works too!)
3 garlic cloves, minced (a garlic press works best for this recipe)
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400.
Drizzle some olive oil over the cauliflower, add the garlic, and mix with your hands to thoroughly coat.
Pour onto a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time.
Empty the cauliflower into a bowl, season to taste with salt, and toss. Enjoy!