Quinoa With Broccoli-Avocado Pesto

Looking for a comforting, warm dish that still passes the healthy meal test? Try this hearty warm vegetable and quinoa salad with roasted broccoli pesto.
Quinoa With Broccoli-Avocado Pesto

This past Sunday, I ran my second half-marathon, and felt pretty good. Monday, I felt completely and utterly wiped out—not to mention a little stiff! As I walked home from work, all I could think about was getting something green and satisfying into my body that would take minimal effort to prepare. I thought of avocados and my favorite roasted broccoli recipe then remembered that I'd seen Heidi Swanson combine the two in a pasta-salad dish, and this recipe was born! Careful—it's not low calorie, but it is full of healthy, replenishing ingredients. I added mushrooms and pine nuts, but you could add any additional veggies or nuts you like.

Recipe: Quinoa Salad With Broccoli-Avocado Pesto

Serves 2-3

What You'll Need:

1 cup quinoa, cooked
2 medium heads broccoli, cut into florets
8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Sea salt
1 ripe avocado, pit removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 pound mushrooms
2 oz. parmesan cheese, cut into small chunks
fresh lemon juice (optional)

What to Do: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss the broccoli and garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until both broccoli and garlic are beginning to brown. Stir part way through if anything looks like it's burning.
  3. Set 1/2 cup of the roasted broccoli pieces aside.
  4. Add the remaining roasted broccoli, roasted garlic, avocado, parmesan cheese, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to a blender, and blend until a smooth puree is formed. Taste and season with salt. Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
  5. Mix half a cup of the broccoli pesto and the reserved broccoli florets into the cooked quinoa. Save any leftover pesto in the fridge for another use.
  6. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the nuts to the dry pan and toast, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from pan and add to cooked quinoa.
  7. Add the butter to the same frying pan and let it melt. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add to the salad and serve the whole mixture warm.

Looking for more roasted vegetable recipies? Check out our roundup of five favorites from around the web.

 

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