Grilled Asparagus & Creamy Lemon 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.

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.


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)

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.



  • Wow, good luck with this. Looking forward to the next recipes too :)
  • Helefran
    Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing so much. Wishing you well with the next step....good luck!!
  • so huge! and a great and deserved step. Best of luck to you both. It is totally scary, I get that, your risk will reap reward I am certain of it.
  • Congratulations to you!! What an exciting endeavor, that you could not be more ready for.. All the best to your new life chapter.. I look forward to seeing all that this will mean for the blog/apps and books!
  • heather
    Good luck! A favorite new quote of mine reads something like: "When nothing is sure, everything is possible." Cheers to all the possibilities ahead.
  • I have always loved what you guys have shared here. It clearly says how creative, talented, passionate and hardworking you guys are! Looking forward to more of your amazing recipes and photography :) You will do GREAT!
  • Wow, congratulations! Good luck. Anyway, this looks amazing!
  • Anna
    Wow congratulations! i wish you all the best. time, love, laughter and inspiration! Your ideas, blog, you + your family will shine :)
  • I find your blog a few days ago and I really love it, unfortunately I did not have any time to cook any of your recopies but I'm really locking forward to it they look really testy. This is really funny also because me and my boyfriend are facing the same questions. We make handmade bags and recently its going pretty god and next to having a day job is hard to keep up with our orders. This is never an easy choice , but if you do the thing you love and have get only support from your loved ones why not take the risk. Your work and blog speaks for itself and in worst case scenario in a few months you can find an another job. I wish you good luck and success and I really hope that it will turn out to the best for all of us whom have the same decision ahead of them.
  • Sini
    Congrats on your decision. Big decisions often feel a bit scary but are most of the times worth it. Just go with your gut feeling :) Grilled green asparagus is one of my most favorite dishes! Can't wait to make this variation of yours. It looks promising - a perfect summer cottage lunch.
  • Hey, May I ask where/what school Luise is studying nutrition ? Wish you all the best with the changes for your family. Best
    • Hi I study a 2 year education at Näringsmedicinska Skolan in Stockholm Best Luise
  • Congratulations on this very very brave decision. I cannot believe that all of this, the blog, the app, your book, are the results of late nights, weekends and vacations, seriously impressive (and makes me excited for what you have in store when you can dedicate more time to this pursuit!). The important thing in my eyes is that you have strong foundations - both your success with this blog and your book which should put you in a good position to work from freelance and also your established career you were balancing on the sides - knowing that should hopefully calm down that pounding heart of yours a little bit!
  • Congratulations on this exciting new phase of your careers. I can't wait to see what it brings for you here.
  • Judith
    Hej, It's kinda funny, but my partner and me are in kind of the same situation at the moment. I just recently resigned from his well-paid great job in order to go to a biodynamic agriculture school from september on. We share exactly the same feelings with you guys. we are really excited about this new chapter in our lives but of course also a bit worried about how we'll be able to make ends meet, but we feel like we are getting closer to what we've always dreamt of: being biodynamic farmers in the future. Anyway, I wish you guys all the best and no worries, if you'll keep on inspiring me like you did the last three years, I'll definetly buy all your books and apps ;-)
  • carly
    love it - don't forget to open your closed eyes and experience all the beauty along your new path! xxx thanks for sharing your yummy food, family and photos xxx
  • Didi
    You're so brave! Go for it! We'll support you by buying the books ;-)
    • Didi
      By the way, I got your book as a present for the seccond time now :p I guess ranting on facebook about your recipes made quite the impression on my friends!
  • Oh wow! I am so excited for you all ...a leap into the 'unknown' ....good onya ! (as we say here in OZ) I am one of your passionate but quiet readers...have loved following you in your adventures &, of course, your yummy recipes journey! Have faith, follow your passion & my very best wishes to you from this granny in Perth :)
  • Congrats on the new endeavors. It's scary but it'll also give you more confidence in pursuing your passion on a full-time basis :) I need this salad in my lunches and dinners. Love grilled asparagus :)
  • I'm sure you've heard it a million times but many people find that as soon as they dedicate themselves to the blog/book/website/whatever (rather than splitting time between work and blog) it just takes off. And yours has already had immense success so I'm sure you will do nothing but expand on that. Wishing you good fortune with your endeavours!! Cheers, Zoe.
  • Congratulations on taking such a brave step. I have absolutely no doubt you will succeed given what you've been able to achieve so far. I love your book (have even bought copies for friends and family) and your apps too. I can't wait to see what you have in store for the future. As for todays dish, this looks fantastic. I absolutely adore asparagus. I can't wait for the warmer weather here in Australia to enjoy it.
  • leonie kenny
    There is only one mistake to fear... really wanting to do something wonderful and then never doing it.! And it has been my experience that the greater the leap the richer the rewards :o) THANK YOU for inspiring my kitchen, guiding me creatively through my new vegetarian diet, supporting my health and pumping up my zest for life. YOU GUYS ROCK!!
  • dont`t swallow the on the waves of your fear instead... good luck to all of your blog so are all in our daily live...brightening up our work...our thoughts...our kitchen... thank you for doing things the way you do... with lots of love from mallorca to sweden...
  • Anna
    I wish you the best of luck! You will end up exactly where you will need to be, don't worry.
  • Good luck with the freelancing! I'm sure that Luise and your daughter will love the flexibility of having you home during the days, that is worth a lot. You've worked hard to get to the point to make this possible. I hope all the evenings and weekends that it took to get here was the hardest part and now it will be easier. On the recipe: we love grilled asparagus and have it often at this season, it's nice to have a twist on it!
  • best of luck!! (and asparagus might be one of the best things with summer)
  • I wish you lots of luck in this great adventure. And thank's for the recipe, asparagus season is on since a few weeks back here where I am, and it's one of my favorite vegetables.
  • Johanna Mitchell
    All blessings on your journey. May you find joy and fulfillment and come to realize how this scary decision became the next "right" step on your journey. Thank you for all your inspiration Eugene, Oregon USA
  • Emily
    I'm a new reader and very excited at having found this blog (hoping to get the book soon). Thank you for writing this post - I am also about to take a leap into insecurity - all stories of the same are welcome!
  • Vicky
    Best of luck!! Can't wait to follow you on your next adventures! :)
  • Oh David, I totally understand what you are going through right now. It is scary to let go of the well-known and security of a corporate job, however trust me you are making the right decision because you are already GOOD doing it in your spare time, squeezing everything in right now, that you will be AMAZING having the extra hours to do what your love. Remember what they say, follow your heart and dreams always and you will be shower with endless possibilities awaiting!!! I am very happy for you, Luise and Elsa; the quality of your family life will change tremendously! Good luck to you and enjoy the new exciting adventure ahead! PS: I left the corporate world 11 years ago and I have never looked back since. Doing what I love now while enjoying precious time with my family.

Leave a comment