Last Saturday, my friend Deborah invited me to come with her to a Nia class.  It was a special class with live music.  I danced free style and felt free.  After class we had lunch at my house and I put together this salad with fresh Ontario asparagus, strawberries, quinoa and some seeds on top for crunch. Kind of like dancing, but in a bowl!


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (cut off the tough ends)
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced in half or quarters depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, or fresh mint, or a combination, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, you may need more
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste


1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

2. In a large skillet sauté the leeks and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas and heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.  Let cool slightly before adding the dressing.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. Pour dressing into the cooked quinoa and veggies. Add the sliced strawberries, parsley and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or any seed or nut you like.