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  • Recipe Room  »  Pesto Quinoa Salad



    • Dash of olive oil
    • Salt, to taste
    • 1 shallot, diced
    • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
    • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
    • 1 cup corn (canned or fresh)
    • 1 1/2 cups kale or other green, finely chopped
    • 2 cups firm tofu or haloumi, grilled
    • 1 tbsp basil pesto
    • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
    • 1/4 cup semi sun-dried tomatoes, chopped


    A colourful, warm and hearty pesto quinoa salad makes a great veggie-packed work lunch or family dinner. When it’s the depths of winter and you’re dreaming of ripe tomatoes, corn and fresh herbs, this Pesto Quinoa Salad may be just the culinary break you need.


    In a small saucepan with a lid, combine, wash and drain your quinoa and brown rice (they will cook more or less at the same rate).

    Fill the saucepan with water, submerging the grains with about 5 cups of water (or about 2 centimetres on top of grains). With the lid on, boil the quinoa and brown rice on low-medium heat for about 25-30 mins.

    Whether you’re using tofu or haloumi, cut the block into cubes. In a big skillet or deep frying pan, heat a little oil and then fry the tofu or haloumi cubes until browned and/or crispy.

    Add a little more olive oil if needed and salt, then stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two.

    Stir in the kale, and then the quinoa, rice and corn, and cook until hot and sizzling.

    Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds.

    Turn everything out onto a platter or serving plate, and top with the semi sun-dried tomatoes.

    Submitted by
    CERES Fair Food

    Tips and Tricks

    • Growing your own basil can be one of the most efficient, cost effective and waste-avoiding ways to supply your kitchen with fresh herbs. Simply cut off what you need as you need it and you won’t be left with half a bunch at the end of your meal.

    • Many dishes call directly for day old rice, fried rice being the common example. Older rice is drier and less sticky, meaning it’s perfect for dishes needing less moisture or to put into dishes where moisture is added. The following are ideas for ways to use up your rice:

    • On the whole, lettuce (and other greens) does best stored in your vegie crisper. Wrap with a dampened paper towelling cloth and keep in a plastic bag in your crisper for longer life. Ideally, they should be consumed within 3-5 days.

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