Hi everyone. It's such a beautiful day today and I'm taking a day out of the kitchen. So today's recipe is this green vegetable quinoa salad with hempseed pesto which I created for this month's edition of TheTaste.ie magazine. This recipe ticks all the boxes; it packs a good plant based protein punch, plus it contains raw green vegetables and healthy fats. Tick, tick, tick. Quinoa, hemp seeds and cashew nuts are all good sources of plant based protein and what better way to celebrate all things Irish this month than by eating more green vegetables. This recipe serves two main portions or four side portions. Trust me, after eating this, you will be totally satisfied without feeling overly full and bloated.
1 cup quinoa 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets 1/2 courgette 2 cups kale Juice of half a lemon 1 ripe avocado
For the pesto: 1/3 cup cashew nuts 1/4 cup hemp seeds 1/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup water 1 cup fresh basil leaves Juice half a lemon Zest of a lemon 2 cloves garlic Sea salt and black pepper to season
1. Cook the quinoa by adding it to a pot along with 2 cups of boiling water. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 15-18 minutes until the water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
2. Steam the broccoli for five minutes.
3. Prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the stalks. Place the kale leaves in a bowl and add the juice of half a lemon. Using clean hands massage the lemon juice into the kale leaves to soften them.
4. Prepare the courgette by using a vegetables peeler to slice it into thin ribbons.
5. Place the quinoa, broccoli, courgette and kale in a bowl and toss to combine.
6. To make the dressing, add all of the pesto ingredients to a blender and blend until combined into a creamy dressing. Pour over the quinoa and vegetable salad and toss to combine.
7. To serve, spoon into two bowls and top with half an avocado and a little black pepper.