Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Mint Pesto

I did a really good clean out of the fridge today — and realized I didn’t have any ready-to-go healthy food in there. So I immediately put a pot of water on the stove and cooked up some quinoa.

I’ve really been enjoying grain salads lately, and quinoa salad is one of my favourites. So I had to invent a new one! I tossed together a dressing that’s really a pesto, made out of cilantro and mint. So green and so fresh!

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I’m looking forward to leftovers on this one. I had a nibble today when it was still warm, but I promise you it tastes totally different once you let it cool and the garlic flavour melds with the other flavours. Let it sit and it will be delicious.

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You can use regular pumpkin seeds here, but I had some leftover from when I roasted squash for Thanksgiving.  I scattered them atop of my quinoa salad, and they were just that bit crunchy and very delicious.  Enjoy!

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Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Mint Pesto

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari
  • 1/2 tsp. aleppo chili pepper or dried red chili flakes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp. chardonnay vinegar
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 c. almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 c. goji berries
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds

In a food processor, blitz garlic, cilantro, mint, oil, tamari, chili pepper, lime juice and vinegar. Scrape down the sides and blitz until you have a green paste.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, cilantro-mint pesto, carrots, apples, almonds, goji berries, and capers. Toss to combine with a spatula. Chill and allow the flavours to mingle for at least two hours. Serve chilled, topped with pumpkin seeds.

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Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

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