Lately, I’ve been finding myself in a lunch rut.
Typically, I have either been eating this sandwich or a large salad, but within the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to come up with new ideas that are healthy, quick to put together, and easy to make, especially given that I have to make lunch for two other little people as well.
This salad fits that to a tee for me.
It’s light, it’s healthy, and it comes together within 30 minutes, most of which is ‘hands-off’ time, giving me the ability to prepare lunch for my girls simultaneously.
Despite being a food blogger, I’m not usually one to pay much attention to what’s in season. My normal routine is to go to the store, buy what’s on sale, and plan my meal around it.
Lately, however, I’ve started to realize the importance of seasonal eating, for the sole reason that in season food just tastes better!
…and what’s more seasonally relevant right now than asparagus??
I have come to truly love asparagus, especially when roasted, and when paired with quick-cooking quinoa, fresh mint, salty olives, and a delicious lemon-based dressing, this salad has all the makings of a fine-dining entrée, without the hefty cost. 🙂
- 1 c. quinoa, uncooked
- 1 T. coconut oil, melted
- ½ lb. asparagus, pencil-sized
- ¼ c. Kalamata olives (about 10), chopped
- 2 T. fresh mint, chopped
- 1 T. parsley, chopped
- 2 T. goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
- handful raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- ½ t. maple syrup
- ¼ t. herbs de Provence (could also use dried oregano or basil)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook your quinoa according to package directions.
- Toss the asparagus spears with coconut oil and some salt and pepper.
- Spread them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the dressing ingredients (lemon juice, oil, mustard, maple syrup, and spices).
- Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, toss it with the dressing, olives, herbs, and pumpkin seeds.
- After the asparagus has roasted, cut the spears into one-inch pieces and toss together with the rest of the salad.
- Top with some crumbled goat cheese, if desired, and serve!
Inspired by this recipe
If you’re not a fan of asparagus, broccoli is a great substitute!
Ladies, beware of this recipe. It may cause your significant other to actually like quinoa (despite his claims otherwise) and eat what was supposed to be your lunch for the following day, sending you into a food tizzy and causing a massive pregnant woman anxiety attack……just me? Okay then.
What are your go-to easy lunches?