Grilled Asparagus & Creamy Lemon Quinoa

Asparagus_quinoa

I close my eyes and spin around a few laps. Deep breaths. I feel the fear pounding in my heart. Trying to swallow it down. It is not working, I’m still afraid. I take another breath and swallow again. Am I ready for this? Are we ready for this? Change. A new direction. Uncertainty and excitement. Let’s start walking.

11 years ago I graduated from a design school in Stockholm. The day after my graduation I started working as a layout assistant for a magazine. After a few years I became an art director. I have worked day-time at different magazines ever since then. I have always loved my work intensely. But now I am letting go.

All our adventures on this blog have finally given me the strength and confidence to start working on my own. Everything that we have done on the blog so far is the labour of late nights, weekends and vacations. Who knows what we can achieve on day-time?

I am blessed that Luise is supporting my decision. In fact, she has been encouraging it. We need those weeknights and weekends for our family. I have worked too much. I know that.

My plan is to do some freelance work as a designer, try my luck as a food photographer, keep on developing our apps, perhaps start working on another book and a bunch of other projects that I have sketched up inside my head. And also, write these blog posts before the sun has gone down. Luise will continue studying nutrition and developing recipes. But she is also considering teaching more classes in nutrition and cooking.

I know this is the right decision for us, but I still feel the fear pounding in my chest.

We have to think through our living expenses. Choose more carefully what to buy. We have talked about moving bigger, but now we might have to wait with that for a while. It is fine though. This is what we want. We are standing here with our eyes closed. And yet, they have never been more open. We don’t know where the future will take us. But we hope that we will keep on learning as much as we have so far.

Roasted_asparagus
Moving on to today’s recipe. It is only the beginning of the summer and we have already made this dish four times. I suspect that we will make it at least a couple of times more before the summer is over. Grilled asparagus is one of the simplest and tastiest things that we know. Here, we have paired it with a delicious creamy quinoa with large chunks of marinated bell pepper, feta cheese and hints of lemon and cumin. If you can’t find fresh asparagus, you can use carrots, leek or any other grilled vegetable. The quinoa would actually also be good on its own.

Asparagus_quinoa_3

Grilled Asparagus & Creamy Lemon Quinoa
Serves 4

You can prepare the quinoa in advance and just grill the asparagus for a little over 5 minutes before serving.

1 cup (190 g) white quinoa
2 bundles (800 g) asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup (180 g) roasted, marinated red bell peppers, drained and cut into bite-size pieces (you can of course grill them yourself)
1 cup (200 g) feta cheese
1 handful fresh coriander/cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (reserve some leaves for garnishing)
salt

For the dressing
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp cumin seeds

Rinse the quinoa, place in a small saucepan and add 2 cups / 475ml water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Drain any excess water. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Gently crush the cumin seeds with a pestle or the back of a knife and add to the dressing.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a griddle pan over high heat. Rinse and pat the asparagus dry and place on a plate. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and roll them until well coated. Season with salt. Arrange the asparagus directly over the heat on the grill rack or place in the pan and cook, turning as needed, until nicely marked on all sides without being burned – 6‑8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the quinoa, dressing, bell peppers, feta and coriander or parsley in a large mixing bowl. Arrange the grilled asparagus on plates, top with the quinoa mixture and a few coriander leaves.

Asparagus_quinoa_5

95 Comments

  • charlottepb
    Good luck to you and your family! My copy of your book came through in the post this weekend and it's brilliant, really inspiring.
  • Olga
    I believe you'll make it even though I understand how big this decision is. Money is good to have living in the city like Stockholm... I can wih you good luck and strength!
  • nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, in an hour, in a minute. its an adventure with an extra portion adrenaline. in this situations i feel vivid. and the only mistake you can make, is to be undecided and unhappy. now you made your decision, good good luck!
  • This looks lovely! I really like the addition of the roasted peppers.
  • Nicole
    I was introduced to your blog by a graphic designer friend from Amsterdam a year ago, and have since craved every new posting. Love the recipes, the writing, the photos - the entire package! Very excited to hear of your brave decision to branch out on your own! It's a huge leap but destined for good results! Looking forward to detecting the brightness of posts during daytime! Best of luck, Nicole
  • Quinoa is so versatile and goes with almost anything, great pairing with grilled asparagus, I love superfoods :-) And about your decision to work on your own: do what you love // love what you do, this is my mantra and is on my tablet screensaver, life is too short to stop trying and be happier. Been loving your site since day one, just let you know.:-)
  • Hi David, I am bookmarking this recipe. Looks wonderful! I admire your honesty and yes you are totally right! I myself having worked at corporate and left it to pursue my passion. Though I am in the initial stages only, but I totally understand sometimes how it feels! But change is always good so BEST OF LUCK!!
  • I have been reading this wonderful blog for a while now and I love the recipes but above all that I love to read about your family life. I think it is wonderful that you are all taking a step into the unknown and I am sure that it will bring much joy. Spending time with family is so important. I look forward to reading more about your new endeavours!
  • The best of luck! It's inspiring to hear you are taking the leap and as a family. I always recommend your website to anyone that will listen and am finally getting around to buying your book. I'll defo buy the next book also so get going!
  • Edward
    You can do it. I just got this post too just before yours in my email. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/06/fearlessness-is-not-the-same-as-the-absence-of-fear.html The worst kind of regret in life is from not trying to achieve what we truly want to do or be. I love this blog. Good Luck. :)
  • I'm actually surprised it took you so long to take this leap, given how successful you already are with your extracurricular activities! Also, another stunning dish as usual.
  • Jane
    Good luck, sure it will be a great success and importantly you will all be happier. Love your book and the blog. best wishes
  • Hannah
    I'm sure you're making the right decision, although it's scary! I admire all of your works. Keep it up, you two are awesome! Can't wait for a new book! :) Best wishes from Germany
  • Janelle
    Yum!! This looks delicious! I do a similar Quinoa which is stuffed in red and yellow capsicums. It has sundries tomatoes, olives, feta, pine nuts, onion, garlic with olive oil and lemon. The balance of flavours are perfect! Thank you for sharing, I absolutely love your work!!
  • Elsbeth
    The two of you are so very inspired (and inspiring)! With all that hard work and love for what you are doing I believe this change will bring you good things. Go for it! Good luck!
  • Change is increadibly scarry. Especially when one wakes up in the middle of the night and you just ly there wondering... But you need not worry. With your talent, ambition and humble approach you guys are going to do wonderfully!
  • Exciting times! What wonderful news - good luck on your new adventures - I'm sure you'll be very successful and I'm looking forward to you sharing the developments here! Grilled asparagus is the the most delicious asparagus I think, and I love the idea of serving it with quinoa!
  • Inebiene
    I made the decision to work as a freelancer 5 years ago. Although it sometimes is a little bid hard I never had any regrets. Sometimes, you have to follow your heart and not your head. I wish you all the best.
  • Your decision requires courage and braveness, and Im sure you both have it. I secretly envy you (not so secret any more!) Life is full of surprises, so why not take a risk? Chapeau chapeau! Enhora buena! xx
  • Sarah Brocklehurst
    Hi! I came across your blog about a month ago, it's wonderful, and I've made many of the recipes since then (all of which have been delicious). Change is scary but always positive in the end and I'm sure it will be a great journey! Good luck!

Leave a comment