Monday, June 11, 2012

Pesto Pea Quinoa Salad

I decided that this week we will not be going to the grocery store.  Our cupboards are bursting at the seams and it's time we start using the stuff I forgot I bought forever ago.  I also don't feel like going to the grocery store.  

There is no ingredient shot because this COMPLETELY changed from what I originally thought I was going to make.  That's how I roll people.  I create a "plan", forget what I set out to do, and then change it completely.   Sometimes it works out pretty damn good and this my friends, was pretty damn good. 

1 Cup of Quinoa 
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock 
1/4 Cup of Frozen Sweet Petite Peas 
2 Tbs of Pesto 
1 Tbs of Finely Chopped Shallot
1/2 Cup of Almonds, Chopped 
1/4 Cup of Crumbled Feta 
Balsamic Reduction (optional)

I use chicken stock whenever I can because it adds so much flavor.  If you want to keep it vegetarian, I would recommend using water, but throw in a bay leaf to add some depth.  

Bring the stock and quinoa up to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer.  Let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa becomes translucent and the liquid is fully absorbed.   While that's going, throw the feta and chopped shallots in a bowl.  I like buying feta in a block and then crumbling it as needed.  I am convinced that they do something to cheese that's pre shredded or pre crumbled so it doesn't clump together and it just doesn't taste as good. 

Add the peas, pesto, and chopped nuts to the bowl as well and stir.  So I'm going to teach you a little trick for this salad.  If you use frozen peas, it will help cool down the quinoa.  You could eat this salad warm, but I wanted it to be chilled.  

The frozen peas cooled down the quinoa and the hot quinoa defrosted the peas.  Me = smart. 

This is the perfect summer salad.  It's healthy, bright, and incredibly refreshing. 
Dude.  This was amazing.  Charlie was pretty sad when I told him what I was making but after the first bite, his frown turned upside down. 

I think I'm on to something people.  Imagine all of the other wonderful things I could throw in here....YUM.  Oh I almost forgot.  Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette to add some sweetness and tartness.   You can buy a really nice balsamic that is already thick, or you can simmer some balsamic over the stove with a little sugar until it thickens.  Invest in some good balsamic.  Trust me. 
 Stay healthy every once in awhile and as always, stay hungry! 


  1. I think you're right about pre-shredded cheese. I read the ingredients on one pack of cheddar, and it said 'cornstarch' which I think the dust it in to stop the pieces sticking together. I'd rather just do it myself!

  2. This looks delicious great idea about adding peas to the quinoa

  3. tried this recipe..even my husband liked it. It was delish!!


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