… naturally and historically the best easy fast-food is mostly based on a carb-heavy layer with protein on top… think of the pizza, the burger or the humble sandwich. Throughout history this food has made the most sense, many of them pre-date and in fact have no need for cutlery to eat. They are peasant developed hand-food and all of them glorious. Frustratingly whilst on my #AlternativeEatingPlan or a low carb diet, I can’t simply ‘grab a sandwich’… I have to plan ahead and most of the stuff I have to eat has to be eaten with a fork. We’ve been doing a lot of late nights at the office recently – I even pulled a 38 hour shift straight through and of course when the team want pizza at midnight I can hardly say ‘sorry guys, it has to be carb-free’ because then i’d sound like (and indeed be) an utter dilbert… I just wish someone would open a restaurant just for the low carb lover… it would have lettuce wraps, cucumber subs and big bowls of gorgeous pre-made salads heavy with flaked fish or chicken so whilst you scoff on your pizza slice I can join you without everyone having to change their eating plan…
oven roasted quinoa with salmon and asparagus
there’s a certain rather lovely middle-class supermarket chain that I go to nearly every day for my lunch because they have the most wonderful selection of quinoa salad pots. I’m crazy for quinoa and if you haven’t tried this ancient south american grain yet you really must give it a go. It is as easy to cook as bulgar wheat or rice and a great alternative to both. I’ve actually never cooked the stuff before but then we don’t eat a huge amount of rice, pasta or grains in this household so finding an alternative was never an issue but now that we’re cutting down our gluten intake and reducing carbs quinoa seems to be the ultimate weapon… Most instructions on how to cook suggest boiling it but because I’m keen on making authentic one-pot dishes at the moment I wanted to try roasting it… as it happens it turned out to be a great way to cook the quinoa and the asparagus at the same time giving them both a little roasting and boiling… I was supremely impressed and will be making this dish again many times i’m sure…
2 salmon portions – I used some incredible lightly smoked salmon steaks I picked up at Sainsbury’s which weighed 240g combined
1 bunch of asparagus
250ml cold water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme -roughly chopped
police oil and seasoning
pre-heat the oven to 170C
you will need a large baking dish in which you need to lay an over-large strip of baking parchment
spread the raw quinoa onto this baking parchment and lay the asparagus on top, sprinkle with a little olive oil and season well with salt, pepper, fennel seeds and fresh lemon thyme and bake in the oven for 8 minutes
open the oven and pour the water over the quinoa and asparagus and then bunch the parchment paper up around the veg and quinoa so that the water can boil and steam at the same time… close the oven door and cook for a further 5 mins
season the fish well with salt and pepper and then after the 5 minutes remove the dish from the oven, carefully open the paper and lay the fish on top, close the paper over the whole lot and place it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes until the fish is beautifully pink and the quinoa is fluffy and plump
eat and of course, enjoy!
Stephanie Burton says
This looks fun to try! I love quinoa too, but only in cold salads as I have not yet tried cooking it. I think your recipe here is going to be my starting point 🙂
I feel we should be using quinoa more but don't really know what to do with it – whereas I can instantly think of at least a dozen ways with the humble potato. Time to change that I think.
This sounds super healthy and looks amazing!!! I haven't cooked with salmon…ever! But it's definitely on my to-do list 🙂
Karen S Booth says
A WONDERFUL recipe Dom and I have saved it, as like you, I am a big quinoa fan! I also lover asparagus and salmon – so this is my kinda meal! Karen
Kate Glutenfreealchemist says
This is brilliant! Being gluten free, we do use quinoa quite often, but I have never baked it (or I confess, ever considered baking it)! Was the texture very different from steamed/boiled quinoa? I will definitely be stealing this idea!!!! Thanks!
Tricia Buice says
I have often wished for that restaurant! It's hard to be out in the world or with co-workers that eat take out every single day and never gain a pound! Anyway – I LOVE this recipe. Quinoa is a favorite and salmon and asparagus are staples at our house. Very nice!
Sarah Trivuncic says
I wish I could convince the husband and child to eat quinoa but they're rather icky about it. I often eat it myself though and this combination with fish is one I'll have to try. Very nutritious!