Heirloom Spring Quinoa

We have a great restaurant in downtown Minneapolis called Zelo. I blame them for the love affair I have going with quinoa, a grain I hadn't experienced until after being diagnosed with a wheat intolerance. Holy delicious. And very under-utilized. Everyone I know who tastes it's delicate nuttiness - falls into submissive lust with it. The lure is strong due to it's balanced set of essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein in and of itself. Sweet. Quinoa delivers a hearty dose of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels for those prone to migraines. Double sweet. After enjoying their Heirloom Grain Chopped Salad from Zelo, I just had to try to recreate it, gluten-free style.

    1 cup quinoa
    1 cup loosely packed arugula
    6 asparagus spears, blanched, popped into cold water and sliced on the bias
    2 scallions, rinsed and sliced on the bias
    10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    1/2 avocado, sliced into chunks
    2 ounces dill havarti or fresh provolone cubed into 1/2 " pieces
    8 hearts of palm, chopped into cubes
    2 tbsp lemon peel, microplanes, no pith
    3 Tbsp lemon juice
    3-4 good glugs of olive oil
    2 generous shavings of fresh parmesan to top each serving
  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package, pour into bowl and stir every so often to cool (make sure you rinse the quinoa first -very important)
  2. Blanch asparagus, shock in ice water and slice on the bias, toss in bowl
  3. Slice scallions thin on the bias, toss in bowl
  4. Halve tomatoes and toss into bowl
  5. Cube avocado, toss into bowl and pour lemon juice over it
  6. Cube havarti or provolone and toss in
  7. Chop hearts of palm and toss in
  8. Microplane lemon peel and toss in
  9. Add in arugula
  10. Pour in olive oil to get a light coat and mix
  11. Salt and pepper to taste and top each serving with a couple shaves of fresh parmesan

    Be grateful for food so pure.


A Super Fresh Asparagus Soup

Minneapolis is a wise-guy city. It's joke today is a snow storm forecast - two weeks into Spring. It got me thinking, what could I make that would entice Spring to follow through while keeping myself warm on a cool and snowy Spring day? I decided on an asparagus soup, one of my favorite recipes. Asparagus is in season and this recipe takes no time, and the reward...is huge.

1 pound fresh asparagus, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 cup vegetable broth homemade or bought

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons GF Flour or all-purpose flour

salt and pepper - a dash of each to taste - go easy

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth homemade or bought

2 cups milk, or soymilk

Shaved Parmesan

sprinkle of lemon juice (about a 2 tbsp or a half lemon) - to taste
top with asparagus tips and chopped chives

  1. Place asparagus and onion in a saucepan with 3/4 cup vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish. Place remaining vegetable mixture in an electric blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Melt butter in the pan that was used for simmering the asparagus and onions. Stir while sprinkling flour, salt, and pepper into the butter. Stir to form a roux. Do not let the flour brown. Allow the mixture to cook only 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir the vegetable puree and milk into the saucepan. Whisk in lemon juice. Stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Slurp it up.


© 2007 All writing and photography is owned by Lollya.