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Recipe: parsnip asparagus quinoa salad

parsnip asparagus quinoa salad

There are few foods that make me feel more winter-y than parsnips and there are few foods that remind me spring has sprung more than asparagus. On the cusp of the two seasons, both these vegetables are deliciously in “season”. So why not use both to create this filling yet light quinoa salad?

I enhanced the flavor of both vegetables by roasting them before adding to the quinoa. I also substituted my favorite olive oil for toasted sesame oil. The result was a flavorful salad that I couldn’t stop eating. If you’re new to quinoa, it’s a great alternative to pasta and rice. It’s a complete protein with all 9 amino acids, cooks in less than 20 minutes, is gluten-free and has a neutral, mild flavor creating a blank canvas for other flavors.

This salad can be made in about 30 minutes if you prefer to steam your vegetables instead of roast them, although I personally love the taste of roasted vegetables. I’ll probably be changing my tune in a few months when the temperature rises and the idea of turning on my oven sounds like torture. But, moral of the story is, enjoy your roasted vegetables while it’s still cool and make this salad. Leftovers make a great lunch as well.

Parsnip asparagus quinoa salad


  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 asparagus spears, roasted then sliced on a bias
  • 1 parsnip, roasted then cut into small bite size pieces
  • 2.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • zest of ½ a lime
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ½ an avocado, cut into slices


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place asparagus and parsnip (cut in half and face down) on a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and toss in olive oil.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes or until lightly brown.
  5. Let the vegetables cool completely, then chopped into small pieces.
  6. Place cooked quinoa, vegetables and all remaining ingredients, except avocado in a big bowl. Mix well.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices.
  8. Salad can be served warm or cold.