Quinoa = Keen-waa

I promised asparagus dishes right? Well, here's another one made with one of my favorite ingredients: quinoa. Quinoa is a South American "grain" or seed that is a complete protein; therefore, it is a great choice for vegetarian dishes. This dish is very nutty and earthy so the lemon adds brightness and the feta cheese adds a salty tang. It was very simple to prepare and didn't take much time at all. 

As you can see from the pictures we always have a salad with our meals. This time I added avocado, red onion, and pepitas. I buy raw pepitas and then toast them in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, until they start "popping." For the dressing, as usual calculate about 3:1 oil to vinegar. I used a sweet red wine vinegar (Sotarini brand), salt, pepper, and about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Mix it up and you've got yourself fresh dressing.

Lemon Quinoa With Asparagus And Feta 

2-4 Servings  

Recipe inspired from cookthink

2 cups quinoa (mix regular and red quinoa to add color)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 4 small bunches)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 ounces feta, crumbled (if you can get sheep's milk feta, I buy it at Whole Foods and find it to be less salty and more creamy than the usual feta)
Juice of 1-2 lemons, depending how lemony you want it

1. Toast Quinoa in heavy pan until fragrant. 
2. Bring 4 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in medium saucepan. When the water boils, add the quinoa and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, 15-20 minutes. Set aside covered for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it's hot and shimmering, stir in the shallot. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is light brown, 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the asparagus and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is tender but still bright green, 8-10 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or so of water halfway through cooking to steam the asparagus a little).

5. When the asparagus is done, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the quinoa, then the crumbled feta, lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Thank you for blogging about your salad dressing ingredients. I always use the same ingredients for my salads: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper. It is refreshing to switch it up once in a while. I can't wait to make your version!

  2. Made it! Eric really like it. Thanks!