Quinoa salad with asparagus and radish

This week, I made quinoa salad with asparagus and radishes.

I am struggling with my food app. I started using it because I wanted to get a grip on my portions and keep tabs on my sugar intake. The problem is that I cook a lot, and to get an accurate measure of any dish I make, I have to add all the ingredients into a recipe builder and calculate the servings. This wouldn’t be bad if I had a steady repertoire of items I made because in that case, after a few weeks, I’d have them all entered.

The problem is that I make different things all the time, and often, my cooking starts with me looking in the refrigerator, considering what I have and then creating something to use those ingredients. This week, for example, I had asparagus and radishes, so I made a Spanish-style omelet with potatoes, onion, asparagus and radish. I’ll never make it again; my omelets are never alike.

I also made a quinoa salad with asparagus and radish from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman. Of course, when I was making it, I didn’t have the fresh herbs or all the ingredients for the dressing, so I omitted the ones I didn’t have and then added extra lemon juice to the dressing to make it taste right. I used garlic scapes instead of a garlic clove because I had that. And so on.

But what this means is that I probably won’t make the salad the same way the next time because then I might have the fresh herbs, or I won’t have garlic scapes. It’s hard to tell.

And so, to be accurate, I’d have to keep building quinoa salad recipes in the app. I really don’t have the time or patience for that, and so I’m logging the things that are simple to log, such as oatmeal, and leaving the others out and hoping that I’m leaving myself enough “available” calories for those complicated recipes. I feel like there has to be a better way to do this, but I don’t know what it is. Do any of you?

My Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Radish

1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
Salt to taste
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 radishes, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped garlic scapes (or use a garlic clove)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the dressing, and set it aside.

Put the quinoa in a pan and rinse it. Drain off the extra water, and then add 1 ½ cups of water. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Martha said it would take 15, but mine was quick.) The grains are done when they display a thread-like spiral and the water is absorbed. Take off the lid, place a towel over the pan and then put the lid back on. Let the quinoa sit for 10 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork.

Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the texture you like.

Combine quinoa, asparagus, radish, pine nuts, feta and dressing in a bowl. Toss to coat the grain and vegetables with dressing.

Martha’s version makes four servings of 260 calories each or six servings of 173 calories. I think I ate about a fifth of mine, so I’m going to put 215 in the calorie counter.

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