You know spring has sprung, when you see asparagus! Adding vegetables to whole grains always makes for a hearty side dish that can easily double as an entree. It’s an easy way to begin transitioning to a plant based diet, too.
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
It’s one of my personal go-to’s when I’m tight on time or when I feel like something a little lighter in the evening. As we move closer to summer, serve this chilled, over tender lettuce.
Asparagus Flavored Quinoa
- 1/2 lb Asparagus
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 cup Quinoa
- Cheesecloth or light kitchen towel
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 Tbls Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsps Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I like white pepper for this recipe)
- 2 Tbls Pine nuts
- Wash and dry asparagus.
- Nature will tell you where to remove the fibrous base of the spear. Hold the spear, one end in each hand. Bend the asparagus into an arch. The spear will snap at just the right spot—no guess work involved. Do this until all spears are free of inedible ends.
(Chef’s, you know we don’t throw anything away! We can use those ends to infuse our broth with delicious and nutritious asparagus flavor.)
- Pour broth into a medium saucepan.
- Add the fibrous ends and bring to a boil.
- While infusing your broth, cut the remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Rinse quinoa thoroughly.
- Once you can smell the aroma of asparagus, remove the ends from broth with a slotted spoon and discard.
- Whisk in Quinoa and asparagus pieces.
- Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, lift lid and drape towel over pan. Replace lid tightly.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients except pine nuts.
- Warm a serving bowl and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Gently pour finished quinoa into serving bowl.
- Drizzle with dressing and fluff lightly.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
Phyto Facts—Asparagus is proving promising in finding a cure for ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The phytonutrient sarsasapogenin prevents motor-neuron cell death. It also is housed in inulin, a fibrous carbohydrate, which lowers blood sugar due to the small intestines inability to break it down. This allows the nutrients to make their way to the large intestines, where it feeds good bacteria, making it a very effective probiotic. This combination of natural activity makes it very effective in treating degenerative disease, i.e., ALS, Diabetes Type 2, and Crohn’s Disease. The presence of four other phytonutrients known as anti-inflammatory powerhouses, kaempferol, quercitin, rutin, and isorhamnetin, give it major cancer-killing abilities. I have used asparagus with great success in the treatment and complete eradication of melanoma. Being very high in minerals and antioxidants like vitamins C and E, it is a great way to prevent nutrient deficiency over all. Asparagus also contains a good amount of glutathione; a combination of three amino acids combined into one molecule. This, many researchers believe, will eventually be the cure for Parkinson’s disease. Rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, asparagus not only breeds good bacteria in the digestive/intestinal tracts, it also is a vegan’s best friend, as it is one of the richest sources of veggie protein. The odor of urine after eating asparagus? Sulfuric compounds. This group of phytonutrients prevent hormone and digestive based cancers better than any other group of phytos. The characteristic odor lets you know you are digesting the nutrients effectively. This is about the only time stinky pee is a sign of good health! So, enjoy!… No, I mean enjoy the asparagus, silly.
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook | TheMedicineChef.com
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!