Shaved Asparagus & Quinoa Salad with a Zesty Dressing

Happy Saturday! I hope you have fun or, at the very least, relaxing plans for today. Sometimes we just need days to decompress a bit. I love cooking, but on days when I need to give myself a break, I'll whip together a little something like this asparagus and quinoa salad. It's a great option for a weekend lunch or a side salad for dinner. 

Shaved Asparagus & Quinoa Salad with a Zesty Dressing. A vegan recipe great for a lunch or as a side salad with dinner | Shiny Happy Bright

I've had it both warm and cold and both are good, so if you're looking for a lunch that you can easily take to work, this would work great. There are a lot of potential add-ons for this simple salad, but here's the basic recipe:

Shaved Asparagus & Quinoa Salad with a Zesty Dressing

Makes 2 large servings or 4 side salads | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

15 large stalks of asparagus
1/2 cup uncooked red or black quinoa
1 orange (for 1/4 cup juice and zest)
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 scallion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Cook the quinoa by adding it to a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 min. Once all water has been absorbed, remove from heat and let sit for 15 min. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let cool slightly before mixing with asparagus. 

While quinoa is cooking, create asparagus ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Grip the woody end of the asparagus and move peeler away from you, creating nice, long strands of asparagus.  

Zest the orange and squeeze out 1/4 cup of juice, combine these with the mustard, diced scallion, and olive oil. Top the asparagus with this dressing. Once quinoa is slightly cooled, add it to the asparagus and mix. The still warm quinoa will help wilt the asparagus to a tender state. 

Things you could add - pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or slivers of pecorino.