I’ve been struggling with food lately. For health reasons I’d rather not discuss right now, I was put on a gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, low-fat, nightshades-free diet. Plus I’m vegan. I felt like there was nothing left to eat. (Side note. I got about zero results when I googled recipes with these restrictions. Which is why I’m a huge fan of this idea. For $25, you can get 3 months access to their new site, plus 2 holiday eCookbooks. Sweet deal.) For several days, I ate brown rice with steamed vegetables. And fruit. And gluten-free oatmeal. I made a vegetable soup that was okay, but I grew tired of it quickly. Finally, I started to experiment.
Using a base of quinoa and finely chopped kale, I came up with a couple of recipes that I quite like. One is an awesome salad that I’ll share with you soon. The other is this Quinoa Kale Bowl with Mushrooms and Asparagus. It’s very healthy and nutritious, but it’s also hearty and flavorful.
This recipe requires a fair amount of chopping and slicing. Fortunately, I welcome these tasks due to a love affair with my new 14″ round walnut butcher block chopping block from McClure Tables. When McClure offered to give away two butcher blocks (one for me, one for you), I jumped at the chance to team up for this giveaway. Little did I know it would become my new favorite tool in the kitchen. Both beautiful and functional, it looks great on my counter even when not in use. And it makes a gorgeous serving piece.
I have a drawer full of plastic cutting boards. Since receiving my new chopping block, I haven’t used a single one of them. Which means a kitchen purge is just around the corner. ;) Here are a few of the benefits to choosing a wood cutting board:
- Won’t harbor bacteria
- Easier on knives than plastic, ceramic, glass and marble
- Wood is completely biodegradable and renewable
- Often supports small businesses (such as McClure Tables in Grand Rapids, MI!)
Never put your wood cutting board in the dishwasher. Scrub it with mild soap after each use. Treat it with food grade mineral oil once a month. Do these things and you’ll have a beautiful piece that will last you for years to come.
McClure Tables is right here in the heart of West Michigan. They are most well-known for making beautiful, high quality shuffleboard tables. However, they also create gorgeous butcher block countertops, islands, chopping blocks and cutting boards. See their full selection here.
- ½ cup dried quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp gf vegetable broth
- ½ lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. whole baby bella mushrooms, sliced very thin
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups very finely chopped kale
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- ½ Tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ Tbsp agave nectar
- ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp salt (scant)
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small sauce pan, combine quinoa and 1 cup vegetable broth. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low, cover and gently simmer for about 14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam asparagus until fork tender. Prepare mushrooms by heating olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 2 Tbsp vegetable broth. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add thyme and black pepper, stir to combine.
- Prepare dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a sealed glass jar or a mini food processor. Shake well or process until thoroughly combined.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, kale and carrots. Add dressing and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in asparagus and mushrooms. Salt to taste and serve warm.