Today, a freak tornado warning (after an afternoon of near 80 degree weather and full-fledged sunshine) forced me and three housemates into the basement of our apartment for nearly an hour to wait out the storm. We made the most of it, though, huddled around the washer and dryer playing word games and listening to the hail (yes, hail) pummel the sidewalk above us. The whole time, however, I was thinking about the dinner I had cooked up just before the tornado siren sounded, a dinner inspired by the asparagus in our fridge and the guilty feeling in my stomach for having eaten mall food for lunch. This quinoa bowl (consider it part two in a series, beginning with this breakfast wonder) is easy to make and good for you, too. And the nutty, mustard-y quinoa base mixed with the sweet, soft asparagus chunks somehow made for the perfect, post-tornado meal.
walnut & asparagus quinoa bowl
1 cup quinoa
7-8 spears of asparagus
3/4 cup walnuts
for the dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Get your quinoa cookin’. In a medium sized bowl, combine uncooked quinoa and two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until cooked. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and stir to let cool.
On a baking sheet, lay out asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the desired roasted-ness.
On another small baking sheet, toast the walnuts for 4-5 minutes. They can sit in on the same oven temperature as the asparagus. Don’t forget about these, though, like I did the first time around, or you’ll end up with a smoky kitchen and some burnt nuts.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Combine all the ingredients and whisk until well-combined.
When finished (respectively) roasting and toasting, chop the asparagus and walnuts.
Combine asparagus and walnuts with quinoa. Stir in dressing (I didn’t use all of mine — pour slowly and stop when it feels right). At this point, I refrigerated the quinoa for an hour or so before eating. In my opinion, this quinoa bowl is best at room temperature. Enjoy!