Return of the Quinoa (with a recipe)

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. 😉

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. 🙂

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!