Roasted Almond, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

The next time someone curious about veganism asks me, “where do you get your protein?” I’ll spoon-feed them a bite of this roasted almond, asparagus and black bean bowl while singing an Iron and Wine song. Once they are no longer creeped out and have regressed to that of a sleepy, full toddler, they’ll rejoice in the simplicity and delightful flavour of this salad.

Add spices to taste. I throw in whatever I’m in the mood for, which is usually smoked paprika.

Roasted Almond, Asparagus and Black Bean Bowl Recipe

1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup black beans
1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Favourite spices (smoked paprika, cumin, etc.)

1. Start by boiling the quinoa. The best way to prepare quinoa is to rinse and drain it in water first, as this will get rid of the slightly bitter taste you might find after it’s been cooked. After rinsing, place in a small pot with water, maple syrup and garlic. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Quinoa will be done when it has a tiny curl and will be slightly crunchy. Fluff with a fork and add to large bowl.
2. While quinoa is boiling, roast almonds in a dry pan on medium-high heat. Watch almonds closely to make sure they don’t burn. Once browned, or you start smelling that delightful “almonds roasting over a stovetop” smell, remove from heat and let cool.
3. Time for the asparagus. Wash, break off ends, then place in a small pan filled with water and 1/4 tsp salt. Allow to boil on medium-high for 5-6 minutes. When done, should be slightly firm and bright green. Rinse in cold water and then set aside.
4. Rinse and drain black beans. Add to large bowl.
5. Once quinoa is done, mix quinoa, almonds, asparagus and black beans together in the bowl.
6. For the dressing, mix the juice of one lemon with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add whatever spices you’d like, for example 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika or cumin. Season to taste! Pour over salad and mix.

Prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe in Glow Magazine.

– Silvia

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Strawberry and Spinach Salad

We love to make strawberry and spinach salad at our house because it looks nice and it tastes amazing. I played with the ingredients until I came up with the following recipe.

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red balsamic vinegar
2 tsp white granulated sugar
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
3 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of smoked paprika

Salad:
1 large bag of baby spinach
2 cups sliced ripe strawberries
1/2 cup pecan or walnut peaces

1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small container and mix well. Dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
2. Wash the spinach, discarding tough stems, and wash and cut up strawberries. Place spinach and strawberries in a large bowl. Refrigerate if not serving right away.
3. Just before serving, toss the salad with prepared dressing, and then add walnut or pecan pieces.