Meatless Monday: Pesto-Quinoa Bowl

This entry was posted on Jul 17, 2017 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless mondayI’ve enjoyed making one-dish meals for years. Soups, stews, meal salads, grains and beans, and the like have been staples in my diet. In the past few years, bowls have become a thing. Bowls are basically one-dish meals that combine grains, protein and veggies.

You can find tons of recipes for vegetarian and vegan bowls online these days. I found the bowl I’m sharing in this post on a site called namely marly. I made a few modifications, for example, using fresh peas instead of frozen. It’s much more labor intensive to pull the peas out of their pods than to pour them out of a bag, but fresh peas are in season now, so it’s worth the extra time. Also, the original recipe calls for making fresh pesto. I had some pesto cubes in my freezer from last fall, so instead of making pesto, I thawed six cubes.

Between my partner and me, we used up all the veggies and I still have lots of quinoa left over. I look forward to trying different veggies—maybe some roasted broccoli or cauliflower. And tomatoes, of course, are always great paired with pesto.

If you use already-made pesto, you can eliminate ingredients 3-8 and skip step 2.

Meatless Monday: Pesto-Quinoa Bowl

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves washed and chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup kale de-stemmed and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt preferably sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups asparagus washed and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh greens such as spinach or watercress
    1. Rinse the quinoa with a fine-mesh strainer. Pour both the vegetable broth and the quinoa in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the moisture is absorbed.
    2. Add the garlic, walnuts, fresh basil, olive oil, kale and salt to a food processor (or blender) and pulse for a few seconds. Push down any ingredients on the side of the bowl again, and pulse again until the most a nice, consistent texture is achieved. Stir the pesto into the cooked quinoa and stir until evenly combined.
    3. Spray a skillet with a light coating of vegetable spray and place over medium heat. Add the frozen peas and chopped asparagus and cook for about 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender, but not mushy.
    4. Place the pesto quinoa in a bowl and top with cooked asparagus and peas. Add the greens as a garnish.


About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

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