Spring veggies with quinoa and hemp hearts

Asparagus and snow peas are two spring vegetables that taste great together. This spring salad with quinoa, hemp hearts and kale is packed with protein, minerals and vitamins.

If your diet is plant-based, this is a complete meal for you. If you enjoy meat, try adding grilled chicken slices to the salad.

Hemp hearts are highly nutritious but delicate seeds and they can lose their taste and go rancid if not properly stored or bagged. Here are some helpful tips to buy, store and cook with hemp hearts so that they preserve their wholesome nutty flavour.

Enjoy the spring and bon appétit!

Spring veggies with quinoa and hemp hearts

Makes one large salad

1 cup red or white quinoa, cooked
1 cup hemp hearts, dry roasted
½ cup pine nuts or walnuts or slivered almonds, dry roasted
1 big red onion, sliced fine ( I use a mandoline)
1 big bunch of asparagus
1 teaspoon (tsp) cumin seeds
3 handfuls of baby curly kale, chopped fine
1 bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 handfuls of snow peas, rinsed and pat dried
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Italian dry herbs
Pink salt and ground pepper, to taste

Whisk together:
4 tablespoons (tbsp) lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
6 tbsps vegetable oil
1-2 garlic buds, pressed

1. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of  boiling water (see full instructions here). When done, transfer to a bowl to cool. While the quinoa cooks, dry roast the hemp and nuts together in a heated pan (with no oil) on stovetop for a few minutes until golden (don’t rinse the hemp hearts in water). Transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. On stovetop, pan grill tossing constantly the asparagus in a little olive oil with cumin seeds for 3-5 minutes, or less if the asparagus are very fine. They should remain crunchy. Transfer to a plate to cool and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over them.
3. When ingredients are at room temperature, in a large bowl gently mix the quinoa and hemp with nuts together. Add the red onions, kale, parsley and toss. Add the snow peas and tomatoes and toss. Add asparagus and toss. Add herbs, salt and pepper.
4. Pour the vinaigrette into the salad and gently toss. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving. Adjust herbs, lemon or oil to taste. Spoon into a platter and serve. Store leftovers in a covered container in fridge. Tastes great the next day.

Hemp hearts
Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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