LEMON QUINOA WITH LENTILS, ASPARAGUS, COURGETTE AND AN AVOCADO-BASIL CREAM
Quinoa is one of my favourite foods, but trust me – it wasn’t always this way. When I first started eating quinoa, I had to force myself!
“it’s healthy, it’s going to give me a wealth of plant-based protein, it’s Low GI, long lasting energy, essential amino acids.. Oh gosh, do I really have to eat this!?”
I honestly detested it, but this was because I didn’t know how to cook it! I would simply cook it in water, drain it & eat it underneath a stir fry or on the side of a salad. I would never dress it, season it, mix it with flavours and add a creamy dip on the side. No, I was ignorant of the deliciousness that quinoa can become (with a little creative help!) In this dish I mix quinoa with green lentils, this combination gives you all the amino acids you need to make a complete protein! (You can read more about Quinoa & Lentils here.)
Then we add to the mix asparagus, roasted courgette, a tantalising tamari-lime dressing & a wonderful avocado-basil cream – It’s all full of goodness and really delicious too. Asparagus is also my new favourite food at the moment, as it’s in season you can get it from your local farmers market and it tastes so amazingly fresh!
This meal is super simple to make and a real crowd pleaser. Even a friend of mine who lived off pesto pasta & peanut butter on toast a few years ago, adored this meal and even went back for seconds! This totally proved to me that this dish is great for anyone, a healthista, sugar addict, fussy eater, major foodie and even a big meat eater – everyone seems to love it!
Quinoa – 1.5 cups/ 250g
Green lentils – 1.5 cups/250g
Asparagus – 1 large handful
Courgettes – 3 large
Leek – 1 large
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Tamari (A healthy wheat free soy sauce)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp maple syrup/raw honey
AVOCADO BASIL CREAM:
a large handful basil leaves
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon or Lime
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius.
Start by cooking the quinoa & lentils. In two separate pans add the dry ingredients. Then add 3 cups of water to the quinoa and 5 cups of water to the green lentils. Bring both to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. They will both take between 15-20 minutes to cook. If once they absorb all the water they are still not completely cooked, feel free to add a little more water.
Next slice the courgettes and place on a roasting tray drizzled with olive. Roast for around 20-25 minutes.
Chop the hard ends off the asparagus and chop into chunks and thinly slice the leek. Steam until perfectly soft!
Next make the avocado cream by adding all ingredients to your blender and blending until smooth.
Finally make the dressing, by simply mixing all ingredients together!
Add the quinoa, lentils, asparagus, courgette & leek to a serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss until completely coated. Serve hot, or, as i love it, cold – with a side of the avocado-basil cream!