Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quinoa Pesto and a Classy Lanyard

Elegant White Pearl Lanyard
This classy white pearl lanyard is available in my Etsy shop. Perfect for year round wear!

Quinoa Pesto
I was intrigued one day when I saw a jar of quinoa pesto in Costco! So I mentioned it to Jim and we went online looking for dish ideas. This dish is only for the pesto lover. Jim realized he's not a huge pesto lover, but I am. More for me!
I have always loved pesto but am sensitive to garlic. We actually made a garlic free version and I didn't miss it. It's funny when you think something can't be made without a key ingredient, but a little creativity can change that! 
We put the following in the food processor for our pesto which made a huge batch:
a bunch of fresh basil from the grocery store (probably about 5 cups packed)
1/2 cup of walnuts (pine nuts are what are typically in pesto)
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Then we added harissa and sea salt to taste. This is where the creativity comes in. Since we are on a harissa kick we used this to give it a zing!

To make a more traditional pesto, use 4-6 cloves of garlic with the above portions depending on how strong you want it.

We actually made a dish to recipe from We doubled the recipe and baked it in a larger casserole dish. The original is here:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups of veggie broth
1 cup of pesto
1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes
2 cups of asparagus cut into 1-2" pieces
olive oil
sea salt
mozzarella, shredded (about 1 cup, but this is where Jim and I always go overboard when making something since you can never have too much cheese)

First, cook the quinoa in the veggie broth.

Then roast the tomatoes and asparagus at 400 degrees in the oven drizzled with some olive oil and sea salt. We added zucchinni too. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes. 

When at the desired texture, toss the veggies with the quinoa (we mixed the pesto and quinoa together first) and pesto in a 9" x 9" pan.  We used a larger pan since we bulked up on the recipe. 

I think this photo below is funny. The way Jim's hand is in the forefront, it looks like the pan is a miniature!
Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is brown.
Then enjoy! Portions reheat great in the microwave.

Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your week ahead! ~Val


  1. The lanyard is beautiful! Very classical!
    Love quinoa and pesto. But I know pesto only as sauce over pasta not in combination with veggies. But I trust you that it was yummy :)

  2. Yum! That dish is right up my street. I love pesto, but like you, I use garlic sparingly :) The lanyard is very classy indeed! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  3. holy cats! that looks so yummy Val! I might have to try this one!!!! immediately - ha! just bought more basil plants ... so I'm ready to go. And loving this lanyard style - very pretty

  4. That's the most elegant looking lanyard I've ever seen!

  5. Val, this quinoa dish loos really yummy, and healthy too.
    I used to love garlic. LOTS of garlic. But as I've gotten older, just a little bit will do.

    I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, and a wonderful weekend!

  6. The lanyard is beautiful! Would definitely be a classy piece to wear for any occasion.

    I am salivating over this recipe. It looks amazing!

  7. Your lanyard is gorgeous, Val! Yes, definitely very classy.

    Your quinoa dish looks quite delicious and I may have to try it sometime for my lunch. . .I'm not sure if my husband would go for it at supper :)

    Have a lovely week! Hugs

  8. Stunning lanyard!! So pretty. And the dish looks mega yummy, love it :)) I hope you have a gorgeous week xx

  9. the lanyard is very classy looking-and your recipe sounds wonderful (except we are a 8-12 huge garlic clove pesto family) we've vegetarian guests coming this fall so I'm copying this recipe (not so much garlic for guests I assure you),the recipe it looks so good.

  10. what pretty soft colors on the laynard. I'm not very courageous with food....but if I did try new things, that dish looks delish.

  11. That looks delicious!

  12. Classy indeed!
    I'll say that roasted veggie dish looks and sounds amazing and I bet your kitchen was extra yummy too. :-)

  13. Amazing blog! Follow for follow? xx

  14. I love pearls, so that white pearl lanyard is a beauty!
    Pesto is our newest craze, and we've been putting it on our summer sandwiches lately. The casserole you found and made looks so good. And I'm glad you doubled the size, because my family is big. lol

  15. Val, sorry I am late coming by!
    I have to tell you, mom and me, are both very hungry! LOL! This dish looks so good! Thanks so much again, for sharing the recipe! Greatly appreciated!
    Your pearl lanyard is stunning!
    Big Hugs and I hope everything is well ;o)

  16. That quinoa dish looks amazing! Can I come for dinner please? We all love pesto here.

  17. ooooh the quinoa pesto is looking so good!


Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val