What's for dinner? Asparagus Quinoa Risotto

Before I  became a holistic nutritionist I used to hate cooking. I always wanted to eat healthy but was strapped for time.  I wanted to look healthy and feel healthy from the inside-out, but didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen on recipe development and trying out different foods that were compatible for my digestive system. 


I prefer to cook with whole healthy grains as opposed to cooking with pasta or rice. I suggest that my clients also cook with healthy grains and incorporate grains like spelt, brown rice and quinoa in their diet instead of wheat and white rice.

If you're like me, always on the go, then you want fast, easy recipes that you can make for lunch or dinner, and that would be filling, nutritious and satisfying for you, and the whole family.  I've found a great recipe for asparagus quinoa risotto which is perfect for the winter months and super easy to make. This recipe is packed with flavour, low on the glycemic index and is filled with nutrients.  

Asparagus Quinoa Risotto
Serves 4
*Gluten-free
*Dairy-free
*Nut-free
*Soy-free

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of organic chicken or vegetable stock
1 vegetable boullion cube (optional)
1/2 tsp pink himmalyan salt
1/4 cup canned puréed squash
1 green onion, finely chopped  
10-12 asparagus spears, chopped
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped


Directions
1. Add olive oil, onion and garlic into a small pot. Add filtered water and vegetable broth or chicken broth, and boullion cube to pot. This will help ensure the oil doesn’t overheat. Sauté ingredients on medium-low for 2-3 minutes.

2. Stir in quinoa, coating it with the oil. Turn heat to medium-high and add more vegetable or chicken broth to the pot.  Continue to stir constantly so the quinoa does not stick to the pot.  Stir for 10-15 minutes, until most of the stock is absorbed and the quinoa has softened.

3. Add Himalayan salt to the mix and lemon juice. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking on low for approximately 10 minutes, and stirring occasionally.

4. Add asparagus spears and green onion.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

5: Add squash purée and fresh herbs.

6: Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Serves 4

Recipe adapted from: Julie Danulik

*Nutritional tips – .Quinoa is high in protein, and contains all of the amino acids. It's full of fibre, B-vitamins and is low on the glycemic index. Quinoa is also safe for people with Celia and digestive disorders to eat, as it's a gluten-free grain. 

Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, required for a healthy nervous system and brain function.  Asparagus is also jam packed with vitamin B, which promotes healthy metabolism, energy levels and balances out blood sugar, mood swings and irritability. 

**Photo courtesy of: simplyquinoa.com