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Friday, February 24, 2012

quinoa with oven roasted tomatoes + grilled asparagus -- gluten free + dairy free

this week was quite interesting. i went in for my 4th annual food allergy test and to my amazement (again) i have new food allergies to contend with! a lot of my existing allergies have subdued - like corn and apple. unfortunately, i'm still showing allergic to yeast - so i'll be sticking to quick breads. the biggest bummer of them all - chocolate. beloved, dark, dark, delicious chocolate.

like hell. nothing will EVER come between me and chocolate. i must draw a line somewhere and this one is in indelible ink. 

after years of not eating red meat, i've finally reintroduced it back into my diet per my acupuncturist/herbologists recommendation. i've got to be honest - i forgot just how good it is. mark and i recently started buying local, organic bison and have been concocting new recipes. last night we made bison meatballs and decided to whip together a quinoa side instead of the usual rice pasta (loaded with carbs and lots of nothingness). i took inventory of what fresh veggies i had readily available - i was too lazy to make my way back to the store and found myself with limited options - roma tomatoes and asparagus. then i dug through the pantry and decided on quinoa versus my regular fail safe brown rice.

to start i oven roasted organic plum tomatoes and grilled asparagus on the grill to give it a smoky, charred flavor. i chopped up the tomatoes and asparagus and tossed them into quinoa cooked with vegetable stock instead of water - which imparts more depth of flavor. this is a super easy side dish that goes well with fish, chicken, pork, red meat, or with more vegetables.

quinoa with oven roasted tomatoes + grilled asparagus
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock - if you prefer)
  • 10 stalks asparagus
  • 4 large plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp honey (make vegan by using agave nectar instead of honey)
  • 1 small garlic clove - minced
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves - chiffonaded
  • kosher salt + pepper
to begin rinse quinoa well then combine with stock in a pot - add a pinch of kosher salt, then stir. bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cover with lid. cook 15 minutes or until quinoa is fully cooked and water is absorbed. if you still have too much water in your pot, place the lid on the pot so that it is ajar and steam can escape - continue to cook until absorbed. 

while the quinoa is cooking prepare the tomatoes and asparagus. heat oven to 400 degrees. quarter each plum tomato then remove seeds + excess liquid with a spoon.  arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, minced garlic, basil leaves and sprinkle with salt + pepper. cook at 400 degrees around 25-30, or until most moisture has evaporated and tomatoes have started to caramelize. remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes, then roughly chop tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. 

remove woody ends from asparagus. coat with 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper. place on a hot grill around 10 minutes, until asparagus turns bright green and being to show grill marks. remove from grill and cut into 1/2 inch segments. 

pour cooked quinoa into a large serving bowl and gently stir in oven roasted tomatoes and grilled asparagus. drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. finally, to finish off the dish - toss in some additional chiffonaded basil. 

before i bid you farewell - be sure to stop by these other bloggers websites for decorating inspiration, more food-allergy friendly recipes or for a good read.


  1. Oh yum! I haven't had dinner yet and that looks and sounds so delicious. :-) Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday!

  2. Yum! This looks absolutely wonderful and so good for you! Thanks for sharing at allergy free wednesdays! Hope to see you next week!

  3. This sounds delicious! I've been looking more new quinoa recipes to try after learning all the various health benefits it has. Too bad you've got so many food allergies : // -- must be so frustrating!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Vicky. Yeah the food allergy thing has been a bummer. On the upside, having so many allergies has gotten me to eat pretty healthfully :)


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