… because what is life without good food?

Lemony Asparagus & Kale Quinoa

with toasted pecans and crumbled feta

Lemony Asparagus & Kale Quinoa with Feta & Pecans ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #quinoa #asparagus #recipe

Sweet spring asparagus nicely contrasts with the light bitterness of kale and a nutty chewy quinoa. A bright and lively lemon olive oil dressing brings out the best of both veggies. It’s all topped with salty marinated feta cheese crumbles and crunchy toasted pecans. Serve it warm, as a side or protein and fiber-packed meal, or cold as a salad, it’s a beautiful mixture of veggies and good-for-your-body grains, nuts and (optionally) cheese.

It’s spring (almost SUMMER … woo hoo!) and the asparagus is plentiful. Or at least, if you visit my parents (or they come to visit you) and you are lucky enough to be in their favored circle (thank goodness I am!), then you will be graced with loads of asparagus. I came home from my Mother’s Day visit with a HUGE bag of asparagus last weekend and very sparce time to cook it, but I still managed to squeeze in little bits of cooking time to roast asparagus for salads and things. And then I managed to make this. It was my favorite dish of the week.

And then this weekend Mom and Dad came to visit and brought me more asparagus (my own fault … they did ask before they came!) … and so now I have two more huge bags of asparagus. I really really love asparagus but at the moment I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. What am I going to do with all of this? I am so busy with other life events at the moment. I am trying to remind myself that this is a good thing … at least I don’t have to go buy more veggies, right? But I DO have to puzzle out some good uses for my asparagus.

Maybe I’ll just make some more of this. Every bite of this quinoa makes me insanely happy.  I think tomorrow I’m going to take the last of this that I have left put a fried egg on top for breakfast.

Lemony Asparagus & Kale Quinoa

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 4 - 6 servings

Lemony Asparagus & Kale Quinoa

Ingredients

    For the quinoa:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • For the dressing:
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon stone-ground prepared mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A pinch of dill
  • For the rest:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • About 3 packed cups of kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 lb. asparagus spears, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • Crumbled feta cheese, for the top (for best flavor, use marinated feta)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, stir together the water, salt & oil until the salt is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Again, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and each bit of quinoa has "burst" from its shell.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Put the kale in a mixing bowl and pour over 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Use your fingers to massage the oil into the leaves. (This helps reduce the bitterness.)
  4. Put the rest of the oil in a large saute pan over medium head and add the garlic and asparagus. Saute for 5 - 10 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp tender and the garlic is fragrant. Season to taste with seasoning & pepper. Add the kale, cover and cook for just a few minutes longer, until the kale is bright green and just slightly wilted.
  5. In the mixing bowl, toss together the cooked asparagus & kale with the quinoa until well mixed. Stir in the dressing. Serve warm or cold with toasted pecans and feta on top.

Notes

If you are using marinated feta, use the olive oil from the marinade for the olive oil in this recipe. It adds SO much extra flavor!

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/lemony-asparagus-kale-quinoa/

Lemony Asparagus & Kale Quinoa with Feta & Pecans ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #quinoa #asparagus #recipe

This recipe was shared with Weekend Potluck.

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