the taste space

Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Toss

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Sides by janet @ the taste space on May 9, 2012

If you had to pick one, which would it be: garlic or chocolate. Which one could you give up? Which one would you keep?

I know, tough choices. So different. Apples versus oranges (although I would pick apples).

If I wasn’t biking this weekend, what was I doing?

I was in Woodstock for Rob’s sister’s bachelorette and bridal shower.

Her gonna-be-groom does not eat beets nor cabbage (Rob’s loving Polish family has still accepted him). And in this predicament, garlic versus chocolate, he would pick to keep garlic, hands down.

I had to deliberate a bit, but I would choose the same. Garlic is more versatile and I eat savoury more often than sweet. For practical purposes, garlic for the win. Rob, on the other hand, would choose to pick chocolate. My sweetie definitely has a sweet tooth. ;)

Now, how did we end up talking about this? I am way past the time when I would think of such thought-provoking questions for dates… (HA!)

Well, Rob and I took advantage of the barbecue and barbecue weather to grill up my favourite grilled portobello mushrooms which are marinated with balsamic vinegar, oregano, thyme and yes, garlic. Delicious grilled garlic.

However, I also went for a garlic double whammy with this Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Toss. I should rename it Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Garlic Quinoa Toss, because as most of Tess‘ great recipes, this one features raw garlic. I made this recipe last year when I had local asparagus. Now that Ontario asparagus is just starting to arrive, I broke it out again. I changed her recipe, a tad, this time, by roasting the asparagus on the barbecue, as well as decreasing the raw garlic (gasp!) and oil, but increasing the fresh lemon juice and adding lemon pepper. Meyer lemons subdue the lemon flavour, so for a nice match for the bold garlic, consider using the regular lemons.

While Rob and I didn’t go biking, we did a short 10-km walk/hike around the periphery of Woodstock instead. In true backpacker style, I wore my hiking gear (hiking boots, jacket and my new (and first) sports bra- it needs to get broken in, too!) and loaded my new (and first) backpack with 15lbs of stuff. So far the verdict has been all positive! Sadly, our cheapo trip to Colombia will be more expensive with all the stuff we’re buying in its preparation- why are sleeping bag liners so expensive? Look at this uber cute and practical collapsible bowl set I bought, though. I tested them out, too, this weekend and no leaky oatmeal!

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month‘s Simple and in Season, and to Cookbooks Sundays.

Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Toss
Adapted from Radiance 4 Life

1 bunch asparagus (~4 cups), trimmed and washed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1.75 cups water

1-2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400F or get your barbecue ready. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Stir to coat the asparagus with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. If baking, bake for 10 minutes. Shake the pan to turn the asparagus and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and roasted. If barbecueing, heat on medium until tender.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa: Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place the lemon juice and zest, oil, garlic, salt and lemon pepper. Stir well to combine.

4. Once the asparagus is cooked, chop into 1″ pieces. Add the asparagus and quinoa to the bowl with the dressing and stir together well. Season to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Serves 3-4 as a main, more as a side.

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20 Responses

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  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on May 9, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    That’s a collapsible bowl? Can’t even tell! Love asparagus and lemon, although I have a hard time digesting garlic. So to answer your question I would keep chocolate and give up garlic ;)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 9, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      When I bought the bowls they were already collapsed so I was confused until I realized they held way more stuff! :) Sorry to hear you can’t digest garlic well.. gah!

  2. sprint2thetable said, on May 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    I love garlic but… I couldn’t give up chocolate. :)

    That look like some huge asparagus!

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  4. This looks and sounds delicious. I have all the ingredients at home so this might just be dinner tonight :)
    PS – I would pick chocolate over garlic :)

  5. veghotpot said, on May 9, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I always get excited when I see you’ve posted a new recipe on here – you definitely cook all the foods I love I always instantly think “mmm oh wow delicious”

  6. Ella @ Lifeologia said, on May 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Yum!
    my kind of lunch ;D
    xo

  7. Eileen said, on May 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I would definitely give up chocolate and keep the garlic. How else would I cook, since it’s in practically everything I make?

    Asparagus, quinoa, and lemon–sounds like a perfect lunch!

  8. nancy at good food matters said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    thank goodness I don’t have to make that choice—although garlic is definitely part of my day-to-day repertoire. Chocolate is more of a treat! Nice seasonal dish using the superfood, quinoa!

  9. Joanne said, on May 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Oh wow I can’t even IMAGINE what I’d choose! I eat garlic in almost everything…but I really adore chocolate! thank god I don’t really have to choose. I definitely couldn’t give up asparagus either though. LOVE IT!

  10. Genevieve said, on May 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    More yummy quinoa! This sounds like a simple side dish but I’m sure it still packs lots of flavour with the garlic and lemon. I can’t believe I still haven’t tried Ontario asparagus yet!

  11. Couscous & Consciousness said, on May 11, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    Thanks goodness I don’t have to choose, but if I did I think I would probably choose to keep the garlic. Loving this dish – that’s a combo of all my favourite ingredients. I especially love barbequed asparagus – mmmm, can’t wait for the return of spring :-)

    Thanks for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo

  12. Kahakai Kitchen said, on May 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    I don’t think I could choose easily between the two but if I had to, much as I love chocolate, I would probably have to go with the garlic. ;-) I love all of the flavors in this salad–thanks for sharing it at Souper Sundays.

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  18. Andrea said, on April 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I would definitely keep the garlic. Now if you asked me lemon or garlic – that would be a tough choice!! Definitely going to try this recipe this week.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on April 28, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      Oh my, garlic or lemon would be a difficult choice for me, too….. good thing I don’t have to choose! :) Please let me know how you like it.


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