Nine pairs of skinny jeans, to be precise. I know, I know. I may be a hoarder. But let's leave my personal psychological attachment to things out of this; I tried on one of these pairs of jeans--a pair that I hadn't been able to wear in a while--and, they fit! They fit better than they did before! Do you know how thrilling that feels? So, yes, I own nine pairs of jeans, four of which I can actually wear. But I'm going down a good path, and it feels great to have something tangible to measure it by, even if it is denim!
This quinoa is going to get me into my Tier One skinny jeans (my skinniest of skinny jeans, clearly. There are three tiers, if you must know). Its got wholesome whole grains that are packed with protein, asparagus, and my favorite thing of all, goat cheese.
It starts with asparagus. Trim the tough ends of the asparagus off and discard them, then cut the asparagus into pieces.
Boil some salted water and add the asparagus for about three minutes, until bright green, then drain and add the blanched asparagus to a bowl.
Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside and prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare a light vinaigrette. Whisk together Dijon mustard, one garlic clove, grated, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and olive oil until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
When the quinoa is finished, fluff it up with a fork and add it to the asparagus, then add pieces of goat cheese and mix to combine.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the quinoa with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and mix to combine. Serve warm or chilled as a salad--either is wonderful.
This quinoa is tangy and bright and very refreshing. Because the asparagus was blanched, it retained much of its crunch, which was a nice texture contrast to the creamy quinoa.
I had this for dinner (on the road) one night and for lunch the next day. It was great both days and kept very well in the refrigerator.
Tier One skinny jeans, here I come!
Here's the recipe:
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Quinoa
For the Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, prepared to package instructions and fluffed with a fork
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 lemons (the zest of one lemon and the juice of roughly two, depending on taste)
- 5 ounces chevre goat cheese
For the Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated over a microplane grater (or minced very, very fine)
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil
- Bring some salted water to a boil and add asparagus. Cook for three minutes, until bright green but still crisp. Drain and add to a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper and the zest of one lemon. Add the juice of one lemon and toss to combine.
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. When cooked, fluff with a fork and add to the asparagus. Add the goat cheese in pieces and combine. The warm quinoa should melt the goat cheese and make it creamy.
- While the quinoa is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk mustard, garlic, Balsamic, and honey together. Whisking constantly, add olive oil until creamy and fully emulsified.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. I found I wanted it to be a little more lemony, so I added the juice of another lemon just to brighten it all up. Serve as a light dinner or yummy lunch.