Return of the Quinoa (with a recipe)

July 29, 2010

Ah, how I’ve missed those golden grains of goodness. Those small seeds of salvation. Those… puffy-when-cooked balls… (yeah, I don’t know either).

Mr. Quinoa, how I have missed you.

Folks, my strictly Paleo eating days are over. Yeah, short lived, I know. Honestly, I’m just going to eat whatever my hungry little body tells me to, and that’s the end of that.

And what was my body telling me to eat last night? I’ll give you one guess, and it rhymes with “Feeenwa.”

Since Wednesday’s are veggie basket pick-up days and my parents came for a visit (hi Mom and Dad!) and brought with them a load of tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, cherries, and such, I was blessed with waaaaaaaaaaaay too much produce. A salad just wasn’t enough (this time). Searching the depths of the pantry and fridge, I found the elusive contain marked, “Quinoa.” And then I knew what had to be done.

Best Damn Quinoa Recipe, AkA: Pesto Quinoa Salad

Pesto Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and prepared
  • 1 cup basil leaves, rinsed
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp white or yellow miso
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup brazil nuts (or any other nut of choice)

While quinoa is steaming, place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until all ingredients are combined. Since there is not much liquid in this recipe, the blending process may be slow at first, but be persistent, and try not to add any more liquid, unless you don’t like your pesto thick. πŸ˜‰

When quinoa is steamed and fluffy, transfer into a large bowl and add pesto to the mix. Stir until combined. You can stop here and devour this delicious warm salad, or you can throw in some of these extras:

  • diced tomatoes
  • diced cucumber
  • thinly sliced basil leaves
  • anything your little heart desires or your tongue tells you to add

This is not the prettiest recipe but it is absolutely one of the best things I have ever made (sadly). But my parents and boyfriend all agreed that the dish was fantastic. πŸ™‚

Since I still had a huge amount of veggies loungin’ around the kitchen, I also threw together a giant salad. And since I ran out of olive oil and balsamic vinegar the day before, I came up with an absolutely tasty dressing recipe:

Green Salad with Creamy Lemon-Lime Dressing (sorry, measurements not included)

  • Juice of both lemon and lime (equal quantities)
  • splash of Tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • plain non-fat yogurt, raw vegan almond mayo, or your own variation
  • one avocado
  • 1/2 spoonful miso paste
  • drizzle of honey
  • dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • fresh herbs: borage, rachard (no idea how to spell this spicy green herb and I can’t find it on the net… anyone have a clue?), parsley
  • Salad portion: any and all veggies, leaf greens, fruits, nuts, whatever!

So, so good.

P.S. Katie (owner, lover, and Insanitian of Making Food and Other Stuff) is having a giveaway! It’s Christmas in July! Go enter!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 2, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Quinoa is my favorite! This looks delicious!! Love pesto. πŸ™‚

Good for you for listening to your body! It is super smart and knows what to do. πŸ™‚ I’m sooo much happier letting my body and cravings dictate what I eat than when I was forcing it into one way of eating all the time.

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Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' August 1, 2010 at 3:43 PM

YUM! I love pesto AND quinoa, so that looks like a perfect meal for me! One of my husband’s favorite dinners is quinoa-pasta tossed with homemade pesto and veggies, but maybe next time I’ll just use the grain! Everything looks wonderful!

And I think it’s great that you’re not following a strict eating plan– listening to your body (as long as it’s not asking for Cheeto’s…) is definitely the way to go! πŸ˜‰
.-= Megan @ Healthy Hoggin’´s last blog ..Bruised Booty =-.

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yo yo mama July 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Well, I was there! and I have to say that the dinner was delicious and pure genius the way you threw it together. Pesto and quinoa are always good, but I was surprised how good the salad was without adding an oil to the dressing. Very creative. And all very good. When are you moving closer to me? I’m getting a little older and need someone to help me with MY cooking and dinners and breakfasts and….

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Alisa July 30, 2010 at 5:59 AM

Pesto and quinoa – perfect combo! Strict is such a harsh word for following some type of healthy diet. I think you have to have some flexibility to enjoy things too!
.-= Alisa´s last blog ..Summer Reading Series Giveaway- Vegan Comfort &amp Spice Cookbooks =-.

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nelly July 30, 2010 at 4:16 AM

yay quinoa!! i would be lost without it. my man ate some coconut curry quinoa i made the other night…and he told me it reminded him of oatmeal…granted, it was a little more wet than usual, too much liquid and coconut milk added…but it was divine…and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about…hehe…

your quinoa dish sounds amazing and so lovely…and the dressing on your salad looks so inviting and creamy…

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Elaine @ Om Sweet Om July 30, 2010 at 2:20 AM

<3 Pesto

<3 Quinoa

Pesto + Quinoa = <3 <3 <3

πŸ˜€
.-= Elaine @ Om Sweet Om´s last blog ..Om Sweet Om –&gt Home Sweet Home =-.

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Sarah (GF vegan) July 30, 2010 at 12:00 AM

I LOVE quinoa!!! These recipes sound so good! We’re out for quinoa at the mo and am trying to get through a bag of polenta before buying anymore… I’ve decided to rotate our grains πŸ™‚

Hope you have a great weekend! xxx

PS i rarely see grapeseed oil over here, usually it’s just rapeseed oil…
.-= Sarah (GF vegan)´s last blog ..Feeling better- finally! =-.

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Pure2raw twins July 29, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Looks heavenly! You can never go wrong with quinoa, it is sooooooo great with just about anything. Well in my opinion πŸ˜‰ I am glad you are going to just eat what feels right for you and makes you happy πŸ™‚ Love ya!
.-= Pure2raw twins´s last blog ..Something new to share =-.

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kate July 29, 2010 at 3:23 PM

i quinoa is my favorite grain! i like to cook a big batch on the weekend and keep it in the refrigerator to add to meals all week.
.-= kate´s last blog ..Lovely Eats- Lovely Company =-.

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Katie July 29, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Feenwa! Insanitian! hehe

Pesto and quinoa…I can’t imagine how that would not be amazing. I have all these ingredients, but the question is, do I have the ambition? As the day wears on, I am thinking not, but bookmarked!
.-= Katie´s last blog ..It’s Christmas in July! =-.

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Madeline - Greens and Jeans July 29, 2010 at 12:43 PM

I LOVE quinoa! You’ve actually inspired me to cook up a bunch to have in the fridge!
.-= Madeline – Greens and Jeans´s last blog ..good morning grumpy =-.

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