roasted asparagus & red pepper quinoa salad

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Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m the person who always brings a salad to get-togethers. Whether they’re picnics or backyard grilling parties, you can always count on me to bring a salad. Annoying? Maybe, but amidst the dips and desserts, salads always seem like the perfect addition to any table.

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

A few weeks ago, I made no less than eight batches of quinoa salads. Ok, kind of an exaggeration, but after the second day of bringing bowls of quinoa salad to work, people started asking what was going on.

I asked for feedback between a black bean & quinoa salad and this one and instead of getting any opinions, all I got was requests for the recipes, $5 from someone who had forgotten their lunch that day and a major boost to my quinoa salad ego. Naturally, I’m thinking about setting up a little quinoa salad shop at work.

All this is to say that I’ll probably share the black bean version sometime in the near future!

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

But we’re talking about the roasted asparagus & red pepper quinoa salad today. I love this salad! It’s vegan (but you don’t have to tell), it’s gluten-free (but no one has to know) and it’s got 12 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving, thanks to the beans + quinoa! (You can share this fact.)

It’s healthy, but so delicious and flavorful. It’s colorful and light; but the hefty servings are unquestionably satisfying. Serve it on top of some greens if you like or top with some grilled chicken or tempeh for an extra boost of protein.

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Lunch. Is. Served.

nutrition facts: 409 calories, 20 grams of fat, 46 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 12 grams protein

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: roast entree salad side gluten-free high fiber high protein vegan vegetarian beans quinoa

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2-15 oz cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

Roast asparagus: preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove tough bottoms of asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces. (You should have about 2 cups.)

Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Prepare quinoa: Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer.

Add quinoa and 2 cups water to small pan.

Stir, season with salt and bring to a boil.

Lower heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

Prepare vinaigrette: while quinoa is cooking, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, dijon, mustard, shallot and salt & pepper.

Remove quinoa from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and toss with vinaigrette.

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.

When quinoa is cool, toss with remaining ingredients. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

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daily eats: 6.4.14

No food theme yesterday, but plenty of “little luxuries” throughout the day. I guess it doesn’t take much! (?) I had the day off of work yesterday (for Shavuot) and while I wasn’t doing anything exciting, it was wonderful to have a day at home to catch up on things.

beverages: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2 out of my favorite mug.

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

breakfast: 1 cup 2% greek yogurt + 1/2 cup granola. Not packing all of my meals for the day is a luxury in itself.

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

workout: 30 minutes of jillian michael’s yoga meltdown (<<affiliate) through live streaming on amazon prime. We started doing yoga at lunch on Wednesdays at work, so I stuck with that theme. With the exception of the sun salutations, I’d say this is more yoga-inspired, than typical yoga, but it was a great workout nevertheless.

lunch: 4 oz tuna + 1 Tbsp mayonnaise + celery + onion + 1 slice of bread + 1 oz shredded cheese with carrots + celery + pickles. This is my standard “lunch at home” meal and it’s one of my favorites. Simple and tasty.

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

snack: Definitely my favorite part of the day, mainly because it felt like such a treat! I had a glass of wine + turkey slices + sartori bellavitano cheese while reading. I’ve been focusing on books lately so I was really behind in my LA Times (just the food/home section) + magazines. I took some time to read both books and magazines. It was great…obviously something I need to do more of!

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

dinner: It’s another Blue Apron week, which is always super exciting. The menu this week included chicken thighs (last night!), beet pasta and tonight’s Maple & Ginger Glazed Salmon with Watercress, Orange & Parsnip Salad. This meal was OUTSTANDING! The salad, the glaze…OMG. (Someone was pretty much licking the pan, but I’m not going to name any names.) We’re still loving Blue Apron, try it out!

Daily Eats | A Nutritionist Eats

dessert: a small handful of chocolate-covered almonds

approximate nutrition stats1,957 calories, 103 grams fat (51%), 111 grams carbohydrates (25%), 16 grams fiber, 55 grams sugar, 109 grams protein (24%)

thoughts: pretty good! A lot of dairy, but that’s typical. :)

 

 

classic açaí bowl

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

If you have no idea what an açaí bowl is…know that you are not alone.

I probably wouldn’t know either except that I worked in the natural food industry for five years (meaning you see everything out there!)…and now I live in Southern California, where Açaí Bowls are available at every juice bar. And said juice bars are on every corner. If you live in Southern California and you don’t know what an açaí bowl is, then you might be alone. (Not really though because plenty of people in my office didn’t know what it was when I was eating it.)

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

We can start at the beginning.

What is Açaí?

Açaí is a superfood berry from the Amazon and açaí bowls are essentially an açaí smoothie topped with fresh fruit and some granola. Traditionally, the bowls are simple with sliced banana, granola and some guaraná syrup for some sweetness.

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

 

Açaí has very little naturally occurring sugar – each serving of 100 grams of puréed açaí contains 0-2 grams of sugar. For comparison, 100 grams of bananas contain about 12 grams of sugar.

 

 

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

Health Benefits of Açaí:

When açaí came onto the health food scene years ago, it was touted as a superfood. The term superfood doesn’t actually have a legal definition and is used more for marketing, but in my opinion ‘superfood’ means that a food has high levels of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. (Old School Superfoods you have at home!)

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

 

Açaí is rich in antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats. Pretty impressive for a little berry, so I definitely consider it a superfood.

 

 

 

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

How to Make an Açaí Bowl:

While the possibilities are endless, I wanted to stick with the classics. (With that said, I can’t wait to try some of the fun additions featured in this great graphic from Sambazon: Anatomy of an Açaí Bowl)

Açaí bowls are really easy to make, they just require a trip to the natural food store to pick up some puréed açaí (found in the freezer) and a blender! The toppings are up to you. Since it is naturally really low in sugars, you might need to add a little honey or agave, or maybe the toppings will add enough. You can always try it without and then drizzle with honey if you need it.

nutrition facts*: 337 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber (*calculated using unsweetened almond milk)

Classic Açaí Bowl

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: blender breakfast beverage gluten-free high fiber vegan vegetarian spring summer

Ingredients (2 servings)

    Açaí Bowl

    • 7 oz frozen açaí
    • 1 cup milk of choice
    • 1 banana
    • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

    Toppings

    • sliced banana
    • berries
    • granola

    Instructions

    Blend together açaí, milk, banana and honey.

    Pour into bowls and top with desired toppings.

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    quinoa & arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    I came home from Thailand with some serious inspiration to start making big ol’ pots of grains and beans.

    And that is precisely what I did. In a jet-lagged haze I made lentils, black beans (which I wayyyyyy overcooked) and quinoa. At five in the morning. :)

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    Does anyone else have trouble cooking beans? I don’t know why I find it so complicated, but they never turn out right. Maybe I just need some more practice, but I think I’m going to try cooking them in the crock pot, I’ve heard good things with that method!

    Anyway…whenever I make quinoa, I’m reminded that I don’t really love plain quinoa. I need to put it in something or at least dress it well. When I made this big ol’ pot of quinoa, I knew I wanted to put it into a salad. I was craving something bright, fresh and flavorful to eat for lunch this week. Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is all of those things.

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    I added lemon juice and zest to the vinaigrette to give it that light lemon flavor that I love in salads this time of year. I chose arugula instead of sautéed kale to keep it fresh.

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    I added chopped almonds for some extra staying power and a necessary crunch. (For even more staying power, I recommend topping it with some garbanzo beans, chopped hard boiled eggs or grilled chicken.)

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    This salad is all of the things I wanted it to be. It’s bright and light; nutritious and tasty. What more can you ask of a little seed and some greens?

    Note: This salad is best made ahead of time to let the flavors deepen, and it’s great the next day.

    nutrition facts: 350 calories, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber

    Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

    by Emily Dingmann

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Keywords: entree salad side gluten-free high fiber high protein kosher vegan vegetarian spring summer

     

    Ingredients (4 servings)

      For the Salad

      • 1 cup quinoa
      • 6-8 cups arugula
      • 1/2 cup almonds, roasted and chopped

      For the Vinaigrette

      • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about one lemon)
      • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
      • 3 Tbsp olive oil
      • 1 Tbsp honey (vegans, use maple syrup!)
      • 3 Tbsp minced shallots (about one)
      • salt & pepper

      Instructions

      For the Salad

      Prepare quinoa as directed.

      Let cool.

      Toss quinoa, arugula, almonds and dressing until combined.

      For the Vinaigrette

      Whisk together all ingredients.

      Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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