Ezra’s Herbed Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, as well as numerous B vitamins, including folate, B1, B2, B3 and B6. It’s also high in vitamins A and C, iron, manganese, potassium and fiber. Quinoa and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymes including those involved in insulin secretion and glucose metabolism. Spring garlic scapes are the flower stalks that spring out of the garlic bulb. They’re rich in allum, which can help protect against osteoarthritis.

Chef Ezra Title, my cohost on the TV show Healthy Gourmet, created this incredibly healthy recipe. To learn more about Ezra, visit his website at www.chezvousdining.ca.


1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
3 spring garlic scapes (stalks), chopped
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
1/4 cup (60 mL) unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
2 cups (500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) grey sea salt or pink rock salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) canned puréed squash or pumpkin
12 asparagus spears, chopped
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 bunch chives, chopped
5 green onions, chopped (garnish)


1. Add olive oil, onions and spring garlic into a small, shallow pot. Spritz liberally with filtered water or broth to ensure the oil doesn’t overheat. Sauté on medium-low until translucent, approximately 2 minutes.

2. Stir in quinoa, coating it with the oil. Turn heat to medium-high and add apple cider vinegar to the pot, stirring constantly.

3. Once the vinegar has evaporated, add stock and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking on low for approximately 10 minutes, and stirring occasionally.

4. Add asparagus spears and simmer for another 5 minutes.

5. When quinoa is cooked add squash purée and fresh herbs.

6. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Excerpted from Meals That Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. Copyright © 2011 by Daniluk Consulting. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Julie Daniluk. Excerpted by permission of Random House Canada. All rights reserved.