This delicious and healthy Quinoa Pesto Veggie Bowl is my proposed cure for the fears we have about living a healthy life. Tasty, healthy food is a good cure for just about anything.
I heard someone say once that the nervous energy we feel before giving a presentation is simply our body misinterpreting excitement for fear. That makes sense. I wonder if the same could be true for our lives? We really should be excited by changes in our diets or lifestyle. These are changes that can take our lives to the next level, but sometimes all we sense is fear.
We fear losing the comfort of our every-day food.
We fear the time we’ll have to spend in the kitchen instead of watching our favorite TV shows. It’s understandable. No one wants to miss out on House of Cards!
But what if we flipped that fear word out and said instead, we are excited to try new foods. We’re excited for a little time in the kitchen in order to eat healthy, home-cooked meals?
Sometimes changing one little word makes all the difference.
I remember when I first made the decision to go vegetarian. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I tried it over and over again and it never took. It was discouraging.
And then one day I woke up with an epiphany. I was heading into what I thought was going to be one of the the worst days of my life — driving to court; going through a divorce. It was not a happy time in my life, for sure. I felt like one big failure.
But then that epiphany happened: I realized my new single mother lifestyle could make the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle a little easier. I was going to be my own woman now and one of the things I wanted for my life was to be vegetarian, so I did it.
I made that change and I never looked back. Sometimes that’s how life decisions work.
What You’ll Love About this Quinoa and Pesto Veggie Bowl
If you’ve been contemplating a change in your lifestyle lately, this Quinoa and Pesto Veggie Bowl might be a good dish to help. First, the quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is readily available at most grocery stores. Availability of ingredients is important. You can also find asparagus in the produce aisle, and frozen peas are available year-round.
If you’ve never tried growing your own basil, I highly recommend it. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow and adding a few chopped leaves here and there on various recipes can add such amazing flavor. Besides, having fresh basil growing on your deck or even in a pot by your kitchen window will make you feel so…healthy!
Also, the age-old question posed to vegetarian and vegans across the world — how do you get your protein — is answered quite easily with this recipe. Quinoa is a great plant-based source for protein.
More than anything you’ll love how easy this dish is to make and how completely delicious it is.
I hope you try this recipe and that you love it as much as we do. Asparagus season is hitting its peak in April so you should take the opportunity to try it if you haven’t before. You’ll be so glad you did. If you make this recipe, take a picture and share it with me using #namelmarly on Instagram or Twitter. I love seeing your photos!
- 2 cups quinoa uncooked
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Place the pesto quinoa in a bowl and top with cooked asparagus and peas. Add the greens as a garnish.
Look for asparagus that is firm, with heads that are dark green or maybe even slightly purple.