Warm Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Asparagus

Serves 4 (or 3 hungry people with no side dishes)

This recipe is from the Whole Foods Market Cookbook, and is also available on the Whole Foods recipe website. Their description: An unfried "fried" rice of sorts, made with golden quinoa and tender asparagus. The shrimp provide bounce to your bite. Try adding 1/2 pound diced firm tofu for even more protein and texture. My description: spectacular! What a great blend of tastes, textures and colors. I’ve added a few notes of my own at the end of the recipe.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not reconstituted, julienned

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1/2 pound firm tofu, diced (optional)

1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas (I doubled this)

1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces (out of cashews, I used toasted pecans)

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Method

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Add broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa and simmer on low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is almost tender.

Arrange shrimp on top of quinoa in pot and simmer for 3 minutes. Add asparagus and peas on top of the shrimp and simmer for 3 more minutes. Top with cashews, green onions and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Laurie’s notes:

Though I usually favor red quinoa, I used white for this recipe, a better match with shrimp and lemon juice/zest.

I don’t keep “dry” (not in oil) sun-dried tomatoes on hand; found them in a small bag in the produce section where they seem to be sold as a salad sprinkle. We all felt they were an important ingredient for color, taste and texture.

Since I wanted to slightly stretch the recipe, I used the optional ½ pound of diced, firm tofu, adding it before adding the shrimp and letting it warm for 3 minutes before the addition of the shrimp.

I like that the recipe is made in one pan… you just keep adding ingredients on top. I carried the pot to the table, stirred it a few times to mix, and we all dug in.

Nutrition

Per Serving: calories 330; calories from fat 120; calories from saturated fat 20; protein 20g; carbohydrate 30g; total fat 14g; saturated fat 2.5g; cholesterol 110 mg; sodium 270 mg; 36% calories from fat.