Portland Observed. And Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Asparagus, Kale and Tomatos

7 Jun

So much yum, yet so few calories!

So much yum, yet so few calories!

Happy Friday, kids! Today I have for you a delectable quinoa treat that recently arose from my imagination (and need to go through a bunch of asparagus and kale before leaving town for the beach this weekend. Hooray!).

It’s full of veggie goodness, quick to prepare, reheats very well, and has a somehow buttery flavor while still managing to be low in calories and good for you. You’re welcome.

But before I get to the recipe fun, I have to share two things: the wonder that is asparagus, and some observations about PDX.

First, did you know that in addition to being jam packed with vitamins and minerals and all that jazz, asparagus may help slow the aging process, even keeping your brain from deteriorating into Grandpa Simpson-dom, as well as fight a bunch of cancers? Yup. It’s true. Plus, it like tastes good and stuff.

Second, I went on a run down my new street in my new town yesterday and noticed some things about Portland: people still sit on their front porches and talk to each other because, even thought it’s 84 degrees, no one believes in air conditioning. There is such a thing as a naked bike ride here, and a “Fascist Architecture Tour.” Portlanders have replaced their front yards with vegetable and herb gardens. This town may have the highest dreadlocks-per-capita ratio in the United States. I’m looking into it. In Portland, people wave to you on the street — people you don’t even know. Some of them will even flash you the peace sign. And grown men ride skateboards here. Like, a lot of them.

You should come visit.

And now, fooooooooood!

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Asparagus, Kale and Tomatos

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, stripped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained (if you have a fine mesh strainer, that’d work best)
  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar (or a dry white wine or perhaps cooking sherry if you have it)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale leaves (you could also use spinach)
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered and de-seeded
  • 8 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Parmesan cheese

Get Cookin’

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wrap up the garlic in tinfoil and then bake for a half an hour.
  3. Pulse the roasted garlic in a food processor until it’s gooey.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and red pepper to the pan and cook one minute.
  5. Now add the quinoa to pan and cook another two minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the vinegar, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, keep stirring the whole time.
  7. Add the broth and bring the whole mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes.
  8. Add four of the asparagus spears, chopped into bite-size pieces, to the pan, and recover. Simmer the lot for another 7 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Move the pan off the burner, and stir in the garlic, kale, tomato, and cheeze.
  10. Spray the other four asparagus spears with some olive oil cooking spray and throw them on the grill, in a pan or on your George Foreman (like me) until they have grill marks. Serve these alongside the main dish.
  11. Plate your creation and eat it up! It’s delicious!

This should serve four. Or it will serve just one person four times if her boyfriend refuses to try it.

Anyhoo… I also crunched the nutritional numbers for you guys (okay, I also may have done it for my own benefit, as I’m back on the MyFitnessPal bandwagon):

Nutritional Information

Calories 134.2 Total Fat 4.9g Cholesterol 0mg Total Carbohydrates 34.2g Fiber 2.7g Sugars 0g Protein 3.8g Vitamin A 25.8% Vitamin C 19.8% Calcium 9.4% Iron 10.4%

Bon appetit!

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