Simple Pesto Quinoa with Walnuts Avocado Kale and Zucchini is just full of flavors. Gluten free and vegan. Perfect for a weeknight meal.
Today we’ll be flying back to the US for a month after traveling through Asia and Europe for over 11 months.
I can barely believe it has been so long. The time flew by and it seems impossible that I’ve been away for so long.
We’ll only be home for a month before we hit the road again and as much as I love to travel I’m also super excited to come home for a bit.
It’ll be so nice to see family and friends and be back at home. I love both family and friend gatherings and can’t wait for both.
To celebrate our return home I’m sharing a recipe with two of my all time favorite foods; quinoa, (a product that can be particularly hard to find abroad) and zucchini. While I love zucchini in zucchini burger recipes here I’ve added it to quinoa instead. And of course I had to add pesto – because that is clearly my life’s obsession at all times, so pesto quinoa is ready for you!
This pesto quinoa is a combination of two quinoa dishes I made in the past, my quinoa with artichokes, asparagus and kale, and my quinoa with pesto, veggies and chicken. Best of both worlds if you ask me. Don’t you just love when your own recipes inspire you to create new recipes? I do!
For this pesto quinoa I highly recommend toasting the quinoa in a bit of olive oil before adding in the water or broth to cook. This allows the quinoa to have a deeper flavor and in the same way that I find rice pilaf always has a better rice texture than regular steam rice, well the same happens to quinoa. So please take the extra 2 minutes to toast the quinoa for this pesto quinoa recipe — I know you won’t regret it!
Hope you enjoy my easy pesto quinoa recipe and please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Simple pesto quinoa dish full of flavors. Gluten free and vegan. Perfect for a weeknight meal.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 small zucchini halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cups kale leaves sliced
- 1/4 cup walnuts cut into smaller pieces
- 1 avocado cubed
- 1/4 - 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2-3 tablespoons basil pesto vegan pesto for dairy free or vegan version
- handful basil leaves slivered
- a few green onions thinly sliced
- Salt/pepper to taste.
In a pot heat 1 tablespoon oil and add half the garlic, Cook until aromatic and add quinoa. Cook for a few minutes until quinoa is lightly toasted and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
In a separate pan heat remaining oil on medium heat and add zucchini. Cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and add the remaining garlic. Cook until garlic aromatic and mix. Add the kale leaves and cook for a few mintues. Add salt/pepper to taste.
When quinoa cooked through add quinoa to the pan with the veggies and add lemon juice, pesto, basil and green onions. Mix.
Add walnuts and avocado. Mix.
Have a safe trip! I have been eating tons of avocados in Mexico, almost two a day. Can’t wait to hear about where you will be traveling to next.
2 avocados a day sounds awesome! What do you go for in Mexico? Here in Thailand they’re pretty expensive – $2 an avocado, but I still can’t say no!
Hi Vicky! We’re making this for dinner tonight – just wondering how much water you use per cup of quinoa? Is it 1 1/4 cups? Thanks!
Hey Sarah! Hope you enjoy this! I usually add closer to 2 cups of water/broth per cup of quinoa sometimes 1.5 cups but not as little as 1 1/4 cups. So I recommend adding somewhere around 1.5 cups. Sorry it wasn’t posted in the recipe!
Thanks! It was quite yummy:)
Yay! So glad you liked it!
Next time I make this I would keep the kale raw, I added a bunch of pesto too. Next morning I added feta and steamed it on top of beaten eggs, it was very tasty. Love all the veggies!!!!
Love the sound of your version of this dish : ))