Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quinoa with Asparagus, Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella

Quinoa is a trendy food right now. It's starting to appear on many healthy menus and I can't seem to go a day without hearing someone talking about it. It also happens to be ridiculously healthy. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually an amino acid-rich (protein) seed and a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

This salad is inspired by something my friend Julie made me once and is similar to a salad that I love.  It is so fresh, delicious and filling. 

I am trying to substitute couscous, rice and other pastas with quinoa every now and then. With bathing suit season approaching, less carbs and more protein couldn't hurt right?

Quinoa with Asparagus, Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella
  • 1 cup of quinoa (try tri-color), cooked according to package directions (about 3 cups when cooked)
  • bunch of asparagus (about 15 stalks); tips trimmed then grilled or roasted (tender but still crunchy)and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large avocado, large dice
  • grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • 7 oz container of bocconcini fresh mozzarella balls, drained and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk until well blended. Add the quinoa, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Gently fold all the ingredients together until well combined. Don't over mix or things will get mushy! Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

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