Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad

Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.
We do not need to eat animals, wear animals, or use animals for entertainment purposes, and our only defense of these uses is our pleasure, amusement, and convenience.
— Gary L. Francione

Spring is such an exciting time! It's warm enough to relax outside on the deck, basking in the warm glow of the early summer sun with Todd and a cup of coffee in the mid-afternoon. My runs are less of a "snow-storm" inspired look and more normal... just running tights and a long sleeve shirt, sans hat and scarf of course. The bright green budding leaves begin to cast interesting shadows, peeking in through the windows of our home making us feel as if we live in a treehouse and the bedroom windows are cracked open all night for a cooling breeze. 

Todd and I are thrilled to be spending the first spring in our new home. Last year at this time we were just finishing up clearing the land. Even though the super hard work is behind us we still have a lot to do! Gutters, stairs up to the doors, leveling out the 800 foot driveway, planting crabapple and lilac trees (and raised beds for a garden), building a greenhouse and woodshed, as well as putting in a lawn in. Todd's excited to slack line and throw the frisbee and I can't wait to set up a reading hammock and be able to play in the grass with the pups! So much work to do, but so exciting! #summergoals

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.
Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

I received a bunch of asparagus in my CSA box and saw I had some fresh cherry tomatoes juicy red and plump for the picking on my little indoor tomato plant; I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Buckwheat is rather new to do me and I love experimenting with it, so I decided to use it in place of quinoa. Here, I incorporate it into a salad that's perfect for spring and maybe just the thing to enjoy on the deck while sun napping.

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Published 04/22/2016

Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; roasted asparagus, fresh arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw buckwheat groats (or quinoa)
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh arugula or spinach, chopped
  • 1 lb 8 oz fresh asparagus (about 2 bunches), ends trimmed and chopped to bite size pieces
  • ½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ large avocado, diced small
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • - Dressing -
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot, bring the groats and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cover; cook for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the groats are tender. Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in the arugula to wilt.
  2. While the groats cook, arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Add to the large serving bowl.
  3. Add the tomatoes, avocado, and basil to the serving bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir into the salad with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Serve warm or chilled. Best if consumed within the same day.

Yield: 6

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

You didn't think I'd leave you with a picture of this adorable lil monkey would you? I'm not sure what he's doing, but he's super cute! Also, our vet told us that Anouk is at least two and a half years old; not seven months like the adoption agency told us. So that was interesting! He also has a broken upper canine tooth that will need to be removed. Poor baby! Have you ever had a dog that had to have a fang removed? I'm so worried!

Produce On Parade

So I know I am totally the last one aboard this train but, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, is totally amazing! I'm almost done with the book. Have you read it?

Flatbread Pizza with Asparagus & Baby Potatoes

Kill one animal - Criminal
Kill many animals - Butcher
One turns a blind eye - Negligence
Society turns a blind eye - Normality
One points out another’s wrong doings - Extremist
Many point out another’s wrong doings - Change
Change is coming. You are the answer.
— Aishwarrya Prakash

Who says pizza is off limit for vegans?

Certainly not me. Look at that gorgeous beauty! Easy, crunchy, crispy herbed garlic flatbread is layered with creamy, vegan goat cheese and topped with tender baby potatoes, fresh asparagus, and tart cherry tomatoes. 

So dig in! Don't let me stop you. This is one of those recipes that may look super complicated and time consuming. Homemade crust, homemade cheese (or not!), boiling and slicing veggie prep....I know, I know. Believe me when I tell you this was an utter breeze to throw together. I think it's because nothing is really too difficult to prep/assemble/make and it all times up perfectly. 

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Flatbread Pizza with Asparagus & Baby Potatoes 

Makes two medium pizzas

Notes: Use whatever vegan cheese you like. I used the recipe below and made it a few days in advance. Feel free to cut the vegan cheese recipe in half if only using for these pizzas. Cheese adapted from Spabettie.

Ingredients: 

Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • small handful fresh herbs, minced (I used parsley, rosemary, and oregano)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water (additional as needed)

Toppings

  • 2 cups baby potatoes, boiled, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh asparagus (about 2 cups), sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup vegan cheese of your choice (I used the recipe below)

Vegan Goat Cheese (at least 8 hours)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted macadamia nuts, soaked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 vegan probiotic capsules

Directions:

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil for the potatoes. Once boiling, add the whole potatoes and boil for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. Drain, cool, then halve and slice. Set aside until ready for use. 

For the dough, whisk all the ingredients together except for the water in a large electric mixing bowl. Then, fix on the dough attachment and while on low speed, slowly add the water. The dough should be moist, but not wet. When combined, remove and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. 

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 400 F. Slice up the baby potatoes, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes. Set aside until ready for use. 

Roll out the dough balls on a floured surface into two 14 inch pizzas. Transfer one to the pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes at 400 F. Then, top with vegan cheese and half of the prepped veggies. Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove, and repeat with second pizza. 

Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and topped with additional herbs and freshly cracked pepper. 

Making the Cheese:

Soak the nuts for 2-12 hours in fresh water. Drain, rinse, and place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients, excluding the probiotics. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, a few minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to a small dish and stir in the contents of two vegan probiotic capsules, discarding the shells. Cover and allow to rest overnight (8-24 hours) in a warm place. Store in the fridge. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. 

German Word of The Day

Crunchy --> knusprig (canoe-sprych)

Good Deed of The Day

Speak up against animal abuse. Sign the petition calling on the Livestock Marketing Association to protect animals and stop workers who were caught on video viciously beating animals, dragging and lifting them by their ears, tails and hair, and denying them food, water, and proper veterinary care. 

Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Okay, first...a question. What do you feed your vegan dog? Bailey has been on Taste of The Wild - Salmon for a long time now, but I harbour yucky feelings about it. Yes, yucky feelings regarding the ethics of said dog food of course, but more so about Bob's optimum health. First and foremost let it be noted that I've done a lot of research on the subject of vegan dog food and I know that dogs can thrive exceptionally on a vegan diet. Cats, however, absolutely cannot. Also, interesting factoid, the longest dog to ever live was vegan. So there's that.  Bailey is basically Todd's and my furry, giant toddler (he can open doors, cabinets and microwaves, people). We want him to be the healthiest he can be. This is why he gets walks twice a day (you think I enjoy going out in 60 mph winds) and eats his fair share of vegetable trimmings #nocompostncessary. He'll eat any vegetable, really. Except raw onion and celery. He politely passes on those. 

If you follow Produce On Parade using Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter you'll know I'm thinking of transitioning him to Natural Balance Vegan Formula dog food. Do you have experience with this dog food or any other vegan dog food? Bailey is a seven year old Husky/German Shepherd rescue who weighs 92 lbs., and is moderately active...when feels like it. I would very much appreciate any input into this matter. Thank you in advance!

Okay, back to people food. And boy this is a good one.

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Sometimes I just want need a rich and creamy pasta dish. You know, where plant-based milk and cashews can do their beautiful dance together in a Vitamix? Throw in a handful of fresh basil to this cream sauce and it's on an entirely different level of ecstasy. Combine with steamed broccoli, asparagus, and a little baked tofu...that there is a one amazeballs meal. Quick note, I'm somewhat intrigued by the fact that I did not get auto corrected for amazeballs. Interesting

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Nom, nom, nom...basil. Best herb ever, no? Is there anyone just going through life not liking basil? I'm curious. 

Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Serves 6

Notes: For the pasta in this dish, I tried to pick a shape that was similar to cut asparagus. Penne would work well, too! The vegetables can be steamed, roasted, or sauteed and any vegetables you like can be substituted. I used coconut milk for this recipe. Almond milk isn't recommended as I think it has too strong of a flavor and may overpower the basil. 

  • Sustenance: 
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, sliced on the diagonal 
  • 1 lb. pasta, dry (your choice)
  • 9 oz. baked tofu (I like Wildwood brand), cubed small
  • Onion & Basil Mixture:
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded 
  • Roux:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups soy or coconut milk
  • Blender:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Begin by steaming the chopped vegetables. I did this in my electric steamer. You want them tender and bright, but not mushy. Alternatively, they can be roasted or sauteed. 

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & TofuBring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. 

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a small saucepan on medium-low. Add the onion and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, until the onions have browned. 

Next, add the basil to the onions and saute for about 1 minute, until just wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and transfer to a small plate until ready for use. 

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & TofuIf the water is boiling for the pasta, add it and cook until al dente. Strain and set aside. The pasta should be done right after the rest of the recipe is finished.

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & TofuIn the same saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over low. Then add the flour, stirring for a few minutes until the flour becomes fragrant. Now, slowly whisk in the soymilk and turn to medium heat. Whisk occasionally until the milk has thickened slightly. Transfer carefully to a blender. 

Add the blender ingredients as well as the basil and onion mixture to the blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. A tip for blending very hot ingredients is to allow a little steam to vent through the lid so there's no explosion. 

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & TofuChop the tofu into small cubes. 

Drain the cooked pasta if it hasn't been already and add it back to the pot. Mix in half the sauce. Stir well to coat, then incorporate the vegetables and the tofu. Add the remaining sauce and mix very well. 

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Serve hot and topped with additional fresh basil. 

Produce On Parade - Basil Cream Pasta + Spring Vegetables & Tofu

Whew, thanks for hanging in there with me through this very hodgepodge post. There's a lot of my mind, okay.

Love the violin in this song.

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German Word of The Day: Basil --> Basilikum (pronounced: bah-zill-E-come) Love it. I hope they don't actually just use "basil" though, that would be unfortunate. 

Good Deed of The Day: Today I am asking for your help to end the Canadian commercial seal slaughter by implementing a federal buyout of sealing licenses. Sign this petition! Baby seals being slaughtered people. For their pelts. Legally! And if that doesn't piss you off...it should. Let's try and do something about it, eh? I'm Alaskan (Canada's little sister), so I can use "eh" here. 

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