As a passionate healing foods lover, spring is one of my favorite seasons because of all the fabulous vegetables and fruits that are available. These nutrient-rich foods help rejuvenate and prepare your body for the warm summer months. Delicious, healing foods are truly wonderful and offer huge health benefits and great taste in one package.
Today’s tasty recipe is a delectable combination of smoky grilled asparagus, sweet caramelized onions, creamy avocado, peppery watercress, juicy tomatoes, spicy radishes, refreshing lime, and nutty quinoa. All of these ingredients meld together to create a harmonious balance of textures and flavors that will have you going back for seconds!
This recipe is packed with healing superfoods but if I had to choose one standout superstar ingredient in this recipe, I would choose the quinoa. Quinoa is an amazing superfood that is like the little black dress, perfect for every occasion and always in style. If you have never tried quinoa you are going to adore its nutty flavor and fluffy texture. Here are some of its wonderful benefits.
Quinoa is a tiny seed that has been cultivated for over 3000 years and it contains an impressive array of key nutrients for healing and nourishment of the body. Quinoa is a protein-rich seed that is eaten like a grain. ½ cup of quinoa contains 11 grams of healthy plant protein along with all eight essential amino acids. Quinoa is a good source of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and zinc.
Since quinoa is a seed, it does contain anti-nutrients that protect it from sprouting until the right conditions are met. Soaking and sprouting the quinoa before cooking removes these anti-nutrients. I also like to toast it for a few minutes to enhance the nutty flavor and remove some of the moisture from the soaking process. If you don’t have time to soak and sprout your quinoa, you need to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter saponin coating. You can also buy organic sprouted quinoa that is already done for you and ready to be cooked.
Asparagus is one of the most adored spring vegetables. Grilling the asparagus adds a wonderful smoky flavor that blends well with all the other ingredients in this recipe. I used a cast iron grill on the stove but if you don’t have a grill pan you cook it in a cast iron skillet or roast in the oven.
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K which is important for helping the body absorb calcium. Asparagus also contains beta-carotene, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, inulin, selenium, fiber, and zinc. Asparagus is rich in glutathione a super antioxidant that removes and protects the body from toxins.
Caramelized onions are a tasty addition to this recipe and offer tremendous health benefits. Onions are an aid to the liver’s detoxification process because they contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione an antioxidant that the liver uses for detoxification. Onions are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, quercetin, sulfur, iron, and fiber.
Avocado adds a lush creaminess to this recipe that is so good! Avocados are rich in healthy fats and important nutrients that protect your body from inflammation, free radical damage, and aging. Avocados are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, lutein, glutathione, and fiber that all work together to heal and rejuvenate the body.
I hope that you enjoy my recipe and make it often so you can experience all the health benefits that come with eating healing foods on a regular basis. What’s your favorite spring vegetables and fruits? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.
Share this recipe with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!
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Asparagus, Avocado, and Caramelized Onion Quinoa
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Wheat-Free
Makes 3-4 servings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or organic clarified butter
1 large white onion—peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
Himalayan pink salt (This is the brand of pink salt I used)
1 teaspoon sherry or raw apple cider vinegar
1 cup organic quinoa—soaked overnight in filtered water with 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice added
2 cups filtered or spring water
1 bay leaf
10 stalks thin asparagus—bottom portion of stalk removed
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 medium avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 baby tomatoes—diced
½ cup watercress
3 red globe radishes—thinly sliced and julienned
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or clarified butter over medium heat. Add sliced onions and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and vinegar. Cook onions over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until golden brown in color, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick or burn. While the onions are cooking make the quinoa. Once the onions are done cooking, remove from heat, cover and keep warm until the quinoa is done cooking.
2. Rinse and drain soaked quinoa. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or clarified butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan with lid until hot but not smoking. Add drained quinoa, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly toasted.
3. Add 2 cups of filtered water to the quinoa and the bay leaf. Bring quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook quinoa for around 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat, stir in caramelized onions, cover, and set aside while you cook the asparagus.
4. Toss cleaned asparagus with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or melted clarified butter. Sprinkle asparagus with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place a grill pan over high heat and get the pan hot but not smoking. Add asparagus in a single layer turn down heat to medium-high and cook asparagus on one side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn asparagus over and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until brown and tender. Remove cooked asparagus from heat and cool slightly.
5. Cut asparagus into bite size pieces and add to quinoa. Remove skin and seed from avocado and cut avocado into small cubes. Toss with lime juice and immediately stir into quinoa. Stir diced tomatoes, watercress leaves, and radishes into quinoa, stir together and taste. Add additional sea salt, black pepper, and lime juice to taste if needed. Serve immediately.