Recipe: Quinoa with Spinach Kale Pecan Pesto


Quinoa with Spinach Kale Pecan Pesto

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
  • 1 1/2 c quinoa
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 6 oz kale, stems removed and torn into pieces (6 oz kale is a lot of kale.  Somewhere between 1.5 and 2 bunches works well)
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1/4 c pecans, toasted
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin boiling a large pot of water for step 2. 

1. Heat 1T olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook until tender, about 8 min. Add in carrots and cook for 2 min. Add quinoa and 3 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes (or until broth is absorbed and the quinoa germ has spiraled out). Allow to remain covered for additional 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place kale and spinach in large pot with boiling water. Cover and heat over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until kale is still bright green but wilted. Drain and reserve cooking liquid. Allow kale to cool. 

3. Chop together pecans and garlic in food processor. Add in kale and spinach and blend completely. Add in parmesan (kale and spinach should be completely cooled first) and blend. Add oil and vinegar. If needed, add in cooking liquid until desired consistency has been reached. Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Combine quinoa mixture with pesto and toss. Serve warm, topping with additional parmesan if desired. 

Support our work by volunteering or making a donation.