Cook This: Spring Asparagus, Snap Pea & Quinoa Salad (easy!)

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Although asparagus isn’t my personal jam (TMI alert: I can’t stand when it makes my pee smell!!) I know that people love it. And, it’s a great food for spring according to Chinese Medicine. Here’s why:

Living in tune with the cycles of the seasons is a lifestyle recommendation made in Chinese Medicine to help achieve a state of balance and health.  In addition to regular acupuncture treatments, one of the best ways this can be achieved on a daily basis is through diet. Eating what is fresh and in local abundance during the various seasons not only tastes better but is healthier too.

The appearance of asparagus in plentiful supply always signals to me that spring has fully arrived. Asparagus is full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and fiber. Asparagus also contains the amino acid asparagine, a natural diuretic which can help with conditions such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.

According to Chinese Medicine, asparagus builds the yin or nourishing fluids in the body. This means that asparagus, from a Chinese Medical perspective can help sooth irritation, improve reproductive health, and encourage fertility. Asparagus also promotes healthy lungs in Chinese Medicine. Its moistening nature is thought to help with conditions such as lung congestion, chronic bronchitis, and tuberculosis.

In addition, since this recipe is full of garlic and cilantro it helps to “detoxify the body” which is perfect for the natural desire to cleanse in the spring.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh snap peas, strings removed and cut into bite size diagonals
  • 1 bunch asparagus, snap off the fibrous ends and cut into ½ inch diagonals
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh mixed greens
  • Sliced avocado


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

What to Do

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  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove any bitter taste. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water in a sauce pan, cover and bring to a boil over medium- high heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed, turn off heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. Blanch the asparagus. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the cut and prepared asparagus. Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Quickly drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
  3. Transfer cooked quinoa into a large mixing bowl and stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add garlic and cilantro. Mix in the snap peas, asparagus, and chickpeas. Adjust to taste and serve over lettuce and topped with sliced avocado.




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