A grouse salad recipe for the Grouse Grind!

Grouse, means by definition a mumble, mutter, complain pettily. However in our ‘Aussie slang’ it means awesome!

So given this evening my husband is about to step up to the challenge of the Grouse Grind, I thought I better make a grouse aka awesome salad for dinner which would not only be satisfying and full of flavour but high in protein too. I have included the recipe below.

The Grouse Grind is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” except you are on it for about 1.5-2 hours! (Sourced from www.grousemountain.com). It is located in the North Shore region of Vancouver, you stay right on the Capilano road over the Lion’s Gate Bridge from Downtown Vancouver.

The first hikers recorded on the mountain was in 1894 when a hunting party shot a blue grouse bird and named the mountain in the bird’s honour. It wasn’t until the 1920’s and early 30’s that it became a popular spot for adventurous hikers.  It is a steep climb with rugged terrain up an approximate 56 percent slope (30°) which starts at the Valley Station of Grouse Mountain and finishes at the Peak’s plateau.

This is a boy’s night out for my husband as he and a mate will be doing the evening hike after a day’s work, so I’m not sure what the motivation is; the excellent aerobic fitness workout or soaking up the view with a beer up top!

Atop the mountain, there are plenty of activities to do and I will talk about that next in my following post as I experienced it ‘without’ the stairmaster workout with my son, girlfriend and her children arriving by gondola which was one of the best days ever since arriving in Vancouver.

Ok, so here’s the salad I have made for dinner…it is not one of my own creations but I think this will do the trick to get my husband comfortably to the peak with loads of energy minus the sluggish feeling.

One of the food magazines I worked on in Australia called Good Taste published this fabulous recipe in the January issue, 2010 which is right in the middle of summer so it’s very suitable right now that we are starting to get the warmer temperatures here in Vancouver.

Quinoa salad with asparagus and feta (serves 4)


500ml (2 cups of water)

150g (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed, drained

Olive oil spray

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths

1 large red capsicum, halved, seeded, coarsley chopped

75g (1/2 cup) crumbled reduced-fat feta

40g (1/4 cup) sunflower seed kernels

4 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced (These may be referred to as white onions in North America and I have included an image below)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh continental parsley (flat leaf)

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey (I used a Fraser Valley blueberry honey I picked up at the Kitsilano farmer’s markets, Vancouver)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

100g baby rocket leaves (arugula)


1. Combine water and quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, preheat a large chargrill on high. Spray lightly with olive oil. Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes or until tender and crisp. Add the asparagus, capsicum, feta, sunflower seed kernels, shallot and parsley to the quinoa.

3. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add the dressing and rocket (arugula) to the quinoa mixture. Season with pepper and toss to combine.

There you have it, a ‘Grouse’ aka awesome highly nutritious protein packed dinner – Enjoy!

Please note: Image of shallots which could be termed white onions in Canada.