This was just a dish I threw together for a quick lunch before an 11-hour shift at work. It’s full of protein, good fats and vegetables to keep me going.
I love cooking with quinoa as it is so light to eat yet very filling. It is such a great base to any dish – savoury or sweet.
This dish will keep fresh in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
Roasted vegetable quinoa salad with homemade pesto, goat cheese and avocado
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 1/2 pumpkin (I like to leave the skin on), diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- Coconut oil
- 1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed *
- 1 tin 4-bean mix, drained and rinsed *
- 150g goat cheese
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 Avocado
- 1 bunch basil, leaves only, wash and pat dry with paper towel
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, plus extra for sprinkling on top of salad
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup olive oil
*See notes below
- Place the uncooked quinoa in a sieve and rinse under cold water. This removes the natural coating which can make it taste soapy or bitter. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan, over a high heat, with water. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes to slightly cool on stove and allow it to become fluffy.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place your vegetables into a bowl and coat with just enough coconut oil. Place onto baking paper and season with salt. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
- Place the basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast and salt in the food processor. Process until everything is combined and has a finely ground consistency. Slowly add olive oil (you may not need 1/3 cup) and continue to process until you get a creamy sauce. **See note.
- Place the cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until combined. Fold in the pesto and mix until the quinoa and vegetables have all been coated. Add in beans, goat cheese and spinach leaves.
- Serve with 1/4 avocado, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Enjoy!
- Note: You can also add chicken or chickpeas instead of the beans.
- Note: If you don’t have a food processor the pesto can be made by hand. Finely slice the basil and roughly chop the pine nuts. Mix together and add the nutritional yeast and salt. Slowly add the olive oil until it reaches a desired consistency.