Chef Wendell: Lemony quinoa and spring asparagus salad

Historically, Easter isn’t associated with excessive eating.

Alas, any family gathering has the potential for overindulgence. It’s our nature. The best strategy; offer a light, fiber filled, side dish to balance the heaviness from all those carbs and fat. In addition to this clean, lemony quinoa dish, prepare a lusty dark leafy green salad with a vinaigrette rather than heavy cream-style Dressing smothering listless Iceberg lettuce.  Taste the dark green rather than drown them.

Of course tradition is sacred and I’m not here to trash your Easter basket. With the heaviness of old-style escalloped potatoes, creamed spinach, mysterious casseroles, buttery dinner rolls, chocolate eggs, and ear-less  bunnies, this year put a hip new dish on the table to balance out the family dinner’s heaviness with colon cleansing fiber and superb cellular nutrition.

Fresh, lightly cooked Asparagus, as you’ve learned, is loaded with anticancer warriors Glutathione and lemon.  Lemons’ have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and are used as a weight loss aids because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection.

Almonds are jam packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.

Also this joyous Easter, celebrate your family’s health by adding crispy, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetable dishes to your lovely dinner table along with that dark leafy green salad.  But please, hold the blue cheese.

2 cups quinoa seed-Protein & Fiber
2 tsp. sea salt-Trace minerals
1 lb. fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed-Glutathione-anti cancer
½ cup slivered almonds-Vitamin E and Gluten Free
½ each red and yellow pepper, ¼ inch dice-Beta Carotene
¼ cup virgin olive oil-Antioxidant
3 tsp. grated lemon zest -Vitamin C
¼ cup lemon juice (Not from a bottle. (FYI-Read the label of pre-squeezed lemon juice)

  • Place quinoa in 4 cups boiling water over top. Cover, and let simmer 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Then cool and reserve at air temp.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus, return pot to a rolling boil, and blanch 1 minute. Quickly remove asparagus and plunge into an ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain, pat dry, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Stir blanched asparagus, almonds, peppers, oil, zest & juice into quinoa; season with sea salt and pepper.
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