I actually jogged outside today with shorts and a tank top on – yay for nicer weather! Spring is almost here and I’m so ready for this season’s fresh produce. I actually couldn’t wait any longer and spontaneously grabbed a huge bunch of asparagus the other weekend. It all ended up going in this lovely red quinoa dish along with chickpeas, red peppers, toasted almonds, and a yummy lemon goat cheese dressing. Apolinaras said this was my best quinoa dish so far and I think it was because you get some goat cheese goodness in every bite!
Quinoa with Chickpeas, Asparagus, and Lemon Goat Cheese Dressing
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 2-inch long pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch long pieces
2 1/2 cups quinoa (1 1-pound box of red quinoa from Trader Joe’s)
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
6 ounces goat cheese
Heat oven to 400˚F. Place bell peppers on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast at 400˚F for 8 minutes, then add asparagus, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mix well, and roast 12 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, place quinoa and chicken broth in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is soft.
Place remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and cook one additional minute.
Stir cooked onions, asparagus and red peppers, chickpeas, and almonds in the large stockpot with the quinoa and mix well. Stir lemon juice and goat cheese together in a small bowl and mix well with the quinoa. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition: 538 calories, 21.8g fat, 11.8g fiber, 21.8g protein per serving
Cost: $2.08 per serving