Healthy Summer Recipe: Prawn and asparagus quinoa salad

Being mixed

I’ll have a packet of … screws up face … quin-oh-ah please I proudly announce to the health food shop. A derisive snort emerges from behind a raft of dreadlocks, followed by a gently nuanced pronunciation of “Keen-wah I think you mean sir”. However you say the damn thing, there’s no denying the tasty wholesomeness of this fashionable grain. No dinner party is complete without a bowl of it, followed shortly by the host announcing “it’s from the Incas you know”. Of course the more political-minded diners will already be discussing the impact on South American economies and their food chain.

But I digress, this was supposed to be a quick recipe after all. So, fry some onions and a bit of fresh chilli, chuck together with quinoa cooked in stock (vegetable or chicken) and whatever happens to be seasonable (I bought British asparagus surprisingly, must be the very end of the season), fry up your prawns for 2-3 minutes on a high heat and there you go. A squeeze of lemon and glug of oil, some seasoning and herbs and you’ve got a superb, nutritious meal in 20 minutes. You want an actual recipe, fine:

The (badly lit) finished article.

Prawn, asparagus and quinoa salad (serves 2)

  • 1 packet of prawns (raw preferably)
  • 2 onions chopped (red / white / a mix)
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 2 portions of seasonal veg (in this case a bunch of asparagus roughly chopped)
  • 1 lemon
  • 150g dry quinoa
  • Some mint / basil / coriander / whatever herb you think will go

Start by frying the chopped onions in some oil over a medium heat until they start to turn brown, add the chilli (as much as you feel like) and continue cooking for a few minutes. Cover the quinoa with chicken / vegetable stock or just water and boil for 15-20 minutes, until the germ starts separating from the grain and it is soft (although a bit of bite is desirable I think). Whilst that is happening, cook your veg however you wish (I fried my asparagus on a high heat for 5 minutes, but it could have been boiled for 3-4 minutes). Once the quinoa is cooked bring together the veg, onion, chilli, quinoa in a bowl and add the juice of 1/2 lemon and the herbs if using. Stir fry the prawns quickly on a high heat, 1 min if already cooked or 2-3min if raw until pink through. Add to the mix, season with salt / pepper and check for acidity as well adding more lemon if needed. Serve.

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