Love pesto? Try this creamy pesto quinoa recipe which is bursting with flavour. It is fragrant from garlic & basil, sweet/ salty from slithers of sun-dried tomato, salty from olives & deliciously savoury from nutritional yeast. (Non-vegans can substitute with parmesan if they wish).
By using quinoa as the base instead of rice, this dish is gluten-free. Quinoa & spinach are also great sources of plant-based protein.
This recipe is also quick to make & I love making excess so I can take leftovers for packed lunch.
Preparation time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
For the pesto sauce:
120g sun-dried tomatoes (no need to slice)
50g fresh basil
25g raw cashews
25g pumpkin seeds
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 plump cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (for vegans) or finely grated parmesan
Optional: 1 tsp spirulina powder
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
40g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into slithers
200g cooked quinoa
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
20 black olives, halved
80g baby spinach
pepper, to taste
Garnish: basil tofu slices, chunks of feta cheese or vegan cheese, basil leaves. Optional: Sprinkle of ground flaxseed, extra drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Make the pesto. Place the pesto ingredients in a blender of food processor & blitz to form a smooth green paste.
In a large bowl, mix together the pesto with the cooked quinoa & slithers of sun-dried tomatoes, halved olives & cherry tomatoes. Season to taste.
You can gently fold in all the baby spinach leaves or save some as a base…
Top with feta/ vegan cheese or basil tofu.
Drizzle over with some extra-virgin olive oil. Add a sprinkle of ground flaxseed if desired to add to the nutritional value.
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