Welcome to our 5-Week Beauty Lunch Series focused on beauty from the inside out with delicious, nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals from our favorite healthy chefs! Each week we’ll share a new recipe highlighting its skin benefits.
Up next in our series of healthy, beauty foods for skin we’re making Quinoa Asparagus Pilaf, a perfect lunchtime dish taken from Jolene Hart’s new book Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out.
Jolene refers to herself as a beauty and health coach who inspires us with her philosophy:
You build your beauty with every bite, breath, thought, and action.
–> Click to tweet this quote
After perusing her book for a while, we decided to try her Quinoa Asparagus Pilaf to get our intake of antioxidant rich veggies and protein in a gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free way!
If you’ve been following our Beauty Lunch Series then you know we like to start with how the foods featured will actually give you better looking skin and a healthier body.
Lemons are well known to be full of vitamin C, and they are also “rich in bioflavonoids which helps strengthen blood vessels, aiding in the prevention of varicose veins.” (Hart, pg. 88)
Maybe we should dub this food “anti-aging Asparagus” because it provides about 15 percent of your daily iron requirements in just one serving, which is important for healthy hair and nail growth. Asparagus has high levels of glutathione which is a majorly important antioxidant. Plus it increases energy and the oxygen-carrying capacity of our blood. If that weren’t enough, asparagus contains folate, a B vitamin, that also helps in cell repair and is essential for DNA synthesis. All of these nutrients are wildly important for looking and feeling as young as possible. (Hart, pg. 85)
Quinoa Asparagus Pilaf
1 tsp of coconut oil
2 shallots finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped into 1/2 in /12-mm pieces
1 and 1/2 cups (260g) quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) vegetable broth
1 bunch of slender asparagus, cut into 2 -in (4cm) pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1: In a large sauté pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.
2: Add the shallots and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3: Add half of the chives and cook for 2 minutes longer.
4: Add the quinoa and broth, raise the heat to high,and bring to a boil.
5: Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
6: Uncover, add the asparagus and lemon juice and stir to combine.
7: Recover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes longer.
8: Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Top with remaining chives and serve.
Our Beauty Lunch Series is about connecting beauty and nutrition to nourish your body from the inside out. We’d love to hear if you made this dish and how it turned out. Please leave us a comment below!
Stay tuned for our next post highlighting a beautifying recipe from Lisa Drayer, a registered dietitian and a regular contributor to CNN. Did you miss the other recipes in our Beauty Lunch Series? Click through to check out the delicious Vitamin Packed Fritatta, the Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl and our Tangy Healthy Chicken Tacos.
Research and production assistant: Catherine Sabatino