the taste space

Asparagus Pecan Quinoa Salad with a Maple-Mustard Dressing

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on July 13, 2012

So, are you tired of all the quinoa yet? Or the salads?

No? Good, me neither. Not yet, at least. The week of salads continues!

One of my foodie goals in Colombia was to munch my way through quinoa and maybe bring some cheap quinoa back home with me.

Turns out I couldn’t do that in Colombia. Quinoa is hard to find and when you find it, it isn’t any cheaper than what I can buy from my local favourite health store. Most Colombian locals had no clue what quinoa was.. except for the sole vegan I met (hi Juan!).

I obviously went to the wrong country. Apparently, Bolivia is where it is at. Not only for the cheap and plentiful quinoa, but also for the amazing salt flats, jungle hikes, glacier climbs and vibrant city life.  We loved asking other travellers about their favourite places to see in South America and Bolovia kept popping up. It is now on our ever-growing list of countries Rob and I want to visit… along with Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Jordan, Nepal, India, gosh you name it. Although Rob’s covered most of South-east Asia and Australia, he is willing to return with me. ;)

My latest kick is adding quinoa to vegetable sides to make it a more sustaining meal, and here I go again with this salad. This would be a delightful salad without the quinoa, too, as it highlights the crisp asparagus and colourful baby greens with some crunch pecans. The dressing, a maple-mustard flavoured one, definitely brings the salad together with the tang from the soy sauce, the sweetness from the maple syrup and the deeper flavour from the mustard.

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

Asparagus Pecan Quinoa Salad with a Maple-Mustard Dressing
Adapted from Radiance 4 Life

2 cups asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
4 cups baby greens
3 tbsp pecans, toasted

1.5 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or less, add to taste)
1.5 teaspoons water
1.5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon tamari
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Place the quinoa in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the broth, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for about 5 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender.

3. Continue to prepare the dressing by combining the mustard, maple syrup, water, oil, tamari and cider vinegar.

4. Combine the asparagus, and quinoa and stir together well. For the salad, plate quinoa overtop baby greens, sprinkle with the dressing and top with toasted pecans. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Serves 2-3.

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14 Responses

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  1. Sandra (@CandidaDietTips) said, on July 13, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    This not only looks fab with those well matching colours – I bet it tastes great, too.

    I’ve recently started adding cooked quinoa to salads myself to make it more substantial, which works really well. I prefer it to bulgur for instance.

  2. sprint2thetable said, on July 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Great sauce on this – I’m on a huge mustard kick lately. Next week I’m going to make a huge pot of quinoa to eat. I like to make a big batch and then season it in servings so I can have different flavors throughout the week. This will definitely be on the menu! It’s such a great protein source!

  3. Joanne said, on July 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    My favorite way to make a salad a bit more substantial is to add either beans, grains, or quinoa! Man, cheap quinoa would be AWESOME.

  4. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on July 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    I love adding ingredients like quinoa to bulk them up and make them in my salads! I love that you went with some red quinoa in this case- I love the earthy tones that are going on! I bet it has some killer flavour too- maple syrup, mustard and soy sauce are some of my favourites :)

  5. Dawn said, on July 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Simple – I LOVE it! And of course quinoa is one of my favorites but I don’t cook it enough. This would be perfect for dinner.
    Hey! I’m still trying to get you the bag of Mila. I’ll keep you posted!!!

  6. Kahakai Kitchen said, on July 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    I don’t think you can ever have too much quinoa or too many salads. The pecans and that dressing make this one special–thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  7. Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said, on July 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    Your salad looks delicious, very hearty and healthy!

  8. Homemade by Fleur said, on July 17, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    I’ve never cooked with quinoa but I keep hearing about it and I am intrigued to try. Your recipe looks lovely. Thanks so much for entering it into Simple and in Season.

  9. […] my week of the salad, I tried so many different leafy salads. I am not that heavy with salad dressing, so they last a long time. I still have dressings […]

  10. […] am definitely going to be adding this Asparagus Pecan Quinoa Salad from The Taste Space to our menu soon.  It is topped with a maple honey dressing. […]

  11. easynaturalfood said, on July 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I think this is my fav from your week of salads! Love the asparagus and pecans, and maple mustard dressing sounds really good! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on July 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Thanks! I really liked my salads this week but this one was nice without the fruit… it is hard to compete with salads based on fresh local fruit. :) Although fresh local asparagus comes a close second. ;)

  12. […] new ones myself this year, and again always on the look out for new recipes to inspire me.  This asparagus pecan quinoa salad with a maple-mustard dressing from The Taste Space blog looks and sounds superb.  Very seasonal and just right for this […]

  13. […] Guacamole) – Supercharged Hummus – Zesty Unfried Refried Beans – Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Toss – Asparagus Pecan Quinoa Salad with a Maple-Mustard Dressing – 15-Minute White Bean and Kale Soup – Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup – Ginger Lime Carrot Soup (recipe […]


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