On my constant quest to make delicious and good for you things, I have forgotten about my love for the ever-popular trendy grain of 2014 AKA quinoa. At one point, I had put quinoa in mac and cheese, frittatas, stir fry, my favorite salad and also in banana bread. Call me the Harry Potter of quinoa.
I’m certainly no quinoa queen (or wizard), but obviously my love for quinoa is the real deal. Not unlike my love for Twilight (it’s still real, guys), Jon Snow or Pacey from the 90s.
All truths today.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I whipped up this beautiful pesto quinoa salad with roasted veggies and chickpeas. MY GOODNESS IT WAS CRACK. Not actually, but very good and something I ate for three nights straight paired with various proteins like chicken sausage, hardboiled eggs and leftover shrimp. Just on that protein train like those people from bodybuilder.com.
Again, kidding. I am deliriously tired while writing this but hopefully you find it entertaining.
Back to the salad: Tony even said it was good. And this is coming from a guy who still pronounces quinoa as KIN OH UH.
On another note, I’ve been running like a mad woman trying to finish up my taxes because April 18th is coming up real quick. Last year was nuts, so this year I finally got myself a new accountant, a bookkeeper and started filing as an S-Corp. It’s crazy to see Ambitious Kitchen grow and flourish. Crazy in the best way because this is a rollercoaster I never want to get off. It just keeps getting better and I can’t thank YOU enough.
In the midst of all the craziness, I’m glad that my eating has stayed somewhat on track. It truly helps to prepare a meal or two ahead here or there. Either that or Abra and I are making egg and avocado sandwiches every day. Better when we have pesto quinoa salads to nosh on.
I really hope you get a chance to make this salad. It’s easy to make, FUN and freaking delish.
More healthy quinoa recipes you’ll love:
ENJOY! And don’t forget to leave a comment below if you make this recipe, or tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. xo!
Roasted Veggie, Chickpea & Pesto Quinoa Salad
- For the roasted veggies/chickpeas:
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the quinoa:
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
- For the pesto:
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped cashews (or can sub roasted sunflower seeds to make it nut free)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chopped veggies and chickpeas on parchment paper.
Drizzle olive oil over veggies, then sprinkle on garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands then spread veggies out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender and roasted.
While the veggies are roasting, make the quinoa: Add quinoa and water to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large bowl.
Next make the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, add basil, lemon, water, garlic, cashews and parmesan cheese. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, adding another tablespoon of water if necessary. Pesto will be on the thicker side.
Once veggies are done, add them to the bowl with the quinoa. Then fold in the pesto. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.