Friday, March 4, 2011

Pesto-tastic Veggie & Quinoa Bowl

I learned a valuable lesson today. DO NOT tease about an upcoming recipe post until you have the recipe nailed and some flattering pictures to go with it.

Tonight I experienced flop after flop. I had an amazing avocado pasta planned, but it did not turn out (sorry Judy ~ I'll make it up to you by posting the best avocado recipe ever very soon!). I have made it before but something strange occurred that I cannot explain. I also tried to make the best banana muffins ever...a tried and true recipe that I have made time and time again....flop!! What the heck. Something crazy is going on ~ is it a full moon out there tonight?

So, I have decided to post a great meal I made a few days ago when I was in a funky mood and in need of a pick-me up.

Check out my Pesto-tastic Veggie & Quinoa Bowl.

For those of you who have never heard of quinoa, let me give you the quick and dirty lowdown ~ Quinoa: (pronounced: Keen-Wah) is a seed that can be cooked in a similar manner as rice or barley. It has been called a superfood because it contains all 8 essential amino acids. It is gluten free and is a great source of protein. My favourite brand is Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa. You can find it at most well-stocked grocery store.  

Team it up with a super fantastic, super delicious pesto and you have an amazing, delicious and nutritious meal. Pesto always seems so sinful because the store-bought varieties are laden with calories and fat, but I used a recipe for a nut-free pesto from i heart wellness that was easy to make, healthy and absolutely delicious!!

Pesto-tastic Veggie & Quinoa Bowl
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1/2 tsp tumeric (optional)
2 - 3 c. veggies, chopped (use veggies that you love)
lemon wedges (1/4 of a lemon)

Bring water to boil in medium-sized sauce pan. Reduce heat to medium, add tumeric and quinoa. Cook quinoa according to package. The tumeric gives a hint of flavour and gives the quinoa a beautiful golden hue.

Meanwhile, chop your vegetables. Place them in a steamer and steam for just a few minutes until veggies are tender crisp.

I don't know what happened, I just kept chopping until I had lots of veggies (I went a little overboard)

I had 4 - 5 cups of veggies and it took me approximately 5 minutes to steam the veggies in a microwave steamer. At the end, I felt I had way too many veggies, so that's why I suggest you use 2 to 3 cups of veggies.

You can use your favourite pesto for this recipe. Like I mentioned above, I used Kris's Nut-Free Spinach Pesto. I made and used  an entire batch because I like lots of pesto ~ you can smother your quinoa and veggies to your tastes. If you have any leftover pesto, simply put it into a well-sealed container and save for another day!! If you're like me, you won't have a hard time finding another use for it. I'd even eat radishes if they were smothered in pesto (& I hate radishes!!).

Once the quinoa is cooked, the veggies steamed and the pesto made, add everything together and mix well.

I put one lemon wedge with each bowl once served because I enjoy a bit of fresh lemon with my pesto. I also added a dash of salt and pepper. You can add these things according to your tastes.

Isn't that a pretty looking dish?It would be a lovely side at a dinner with friends or family.

Serve & enjoy!!

What type of pesto is your all-time favourite? I always go with the usual spinach & basil (usually with pine nuts), but I have seen so many different varieties.

Have you ever used quinoa before? Do you think you will??

Have a wonderful evening,


  1. yum! quinoa = heaven to my tastebuds and belly. it's my favorite "grain"!

  2. Your pictures are perfect, they are colourful and everything looks delicious. I like that you include photos of the progression of your recipe. I have only had store bought pesto, I think I'll try to make some of my own now. Love quinoa.

  3. Very pretty! I love food that pops with colour. The last time I made pesto, I put waaaaay too much garlic.