Great responses to my dynamic wardrobe post, guys. I loved hearing your input, and I’m so glad that some of you were inspired to donate an ill-fitting garment or two!
I’m admit that when I shared my recipe for sprouted wheatberry salad last week, I wasn’t sure how much interest it would get. Sprouting isn’t for everyone; the very idea of it seems to freak some people out. So you can imagine my happiness when so many of you liked the post and expressed some interest in trying more sprouted grains. That’s great! I hope you do.
The following recipe is a great place to start. Why? Because it involves sprouting quinoa, which is one of the fastest and easiest pseudograins to sprout. It requires less soak time than wheatberries do (8-12 hours as opposed to 24) and sprouts in about a day. There’s really no simpler sprouting project for a newbie, and sprouted quinoa happens to be delicious, too. Unlike wheat and buckwheat, which can get a little bitter and starchy when sprouted, quinoa retains its lightness and nutty flavors. It’s a versatile and nourishing foundation for all sorts of meals.
In spite of our peculiar temperatures this June — superhot, super cool, and hot again — we still have some late spring vegetables pouring into the farmer’s market. I missed the zenith of this year’s asparagus and shelling pea crops (shame on me), but fortunately some of the bounty is still around. Traditionally, I make risottos, rice dishes, and grain pilafs with asparagus and fresh spring peas each spring, and I’m delighted that I have a chance to keep the tradition alive this year, if a month or two late. And since I had sprouted quinoa ready for the using last weekend, it was a perfect time to throw together what is possibly my very favorite grain dish. Here it is, in all of its light, bright glory.
Spring Quinoa and Asparagus Pilaf (serves 2)
1 cup sprouted quinoa (instructions below)
3/4 cup asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup green peas (fresh is best, but you can use frozen if you must)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
To sprout the quinoa, soak 1/2 cup quinoa in filtered water in a mason jar for 12 hours. Rinse the quinoa, and return it to the jar (without water). Place paper towel, a cheesecloth, or a nut milk bag over the top of the jar, and secure it with a rubber band. Lay the jar on its side in a warm place and leave it alone for a day or so. When you return, the quinoa should be tender and have sprouted little tails, like so.
Store the quinoa in the fridge till you’re ready to use it, but note that it won’t stay fresh for more than another day or two.
When you’re ready to make the recipe, begin by blanching the asparagus and peas in boiling water for one minute, then transferring them to an ice bath (or cold running water) for another minute. Shake them dry. You CAN keep the veggies 100% raw if you like, but I prefer the slight tenderness that blanching will give them.
Mix the veggies, sprouted quinoa, and other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Serve!
This recipe proves more than any other that simple is best. Every time I make it, I feel as though I should add more ingredients or use more complex combinations of herbs. Then I put it all together–just grains, greens, salt, lemon, and dill–and realize that to tamper any more with it would be heresy. It’s perfect, just the way it is.
I hope you’re gearing up for a nice and sunny weekend. I’ve got a significant few days ahead of me: Chloe is getting married on Saturday (gah!), and I’m a bridesmaid. This means that I’m leaving for my happy place in less than twenty-four hours for what I am sure will be a fun, tearful, exciting, nostalgic, and generally beautiful three days. While I’m gone, you’ll be getting two lovely guest posts (full of tips for eating healthy on the go, as I’ve been all month). And you can expect a major photo recap next week, when I’m back. For those of you who want a sneak peek, I can promise you the following:
1) I’m getting a tasty vegan wedding dinner
2) Chloe’s dress is almost as exquisite as she is — I know, because I helped her pick it out
3) I will cry. A lot. I’m hoping not to get my pink frock streaked with mascara. We’ll see how well I do.