Pesto Quinoa Salad

6 Jun

It ONLY got to 82 degrees TODAY! BUT IT IS HOT!! I know for all of you that live in HOT HOT weather 82 is like winter for you. But us in the Pacific NW 82 degrees is HOT! This will be my first summer that I do not have A/C. So far it is not very fun. It is hotter in the house then outside!

I feel like I have been in a food/cooking rut lately. I cook a lot of the same stuff. I got some sort of urge last weekend and made some new stuff: chickpea ratatouille, a kale salad, and a taco pizza(post to come). I wanted to keep the streak going but it was too hot to cook!

I now UNDERSTAND when Portlanders say “it was too hot to cook so I had to eat out.” I totally understand! Today was that day for me. I went and got pizza dough today for dinner tonight. NO THANKS! There was no way I was turning on the oven! I decided to make a Pesto Quinoa Salad. I am going to share with you the process. It was kind of funny making the pesto. Mistake after mistake! I will just get right to it.

DISCLAIMER: I AM “fly by the seat of my pants COOK.” I mostly throw together stuff that is already in the fridge. If I look at a recipe and I do not have something I will just sub it for something that I have. SORRY my pics are not that good…I could NEVER be a food blogger. 🙂

I started to make pesto in my Bella magic bullet type deal. I make smoothies in it. Never a problem. Well it did not like the basil cause it wouldn’t chop. WTF?! I decided that I would try Greg’s mini food processor. I had tried to use it before and could not get it to work but I have since seen him use it. I knew it worked. I just had to figure it out! It worked for a good portion of chopping and then it stopped.

SHIT!! Luckily I got this gem for Christmas:

I had not opened it because I could use Greg’s. Got that opened. It didn’t work. SHIT! I figured it out though. The reset button needed to be pushed! Now that I have dirtied all of the appliances I finally had my pesto!

What to use:
1 bunch basil (taken off stems)
1/4(ish) C almonds
1/4(ish) C sunflower seeds
1/2 C olive oil
1 Lemon (juice from it)
1/2(ish) C parmesan cheese

What to do:
Put it all in the food processor. Preferably a regular size one and not a mini. Chop it until it is all combined and looks like pesto!

You can use a standard “nut” like pine nuts or walnuts but I thought I would try something different. You can use more oil if you like and more cheese if you like. Just add until you have the desired consistency.

For purposes of today: I took a 1/2 C(ish) to use for the quinoa salad and the rest I put in ice cube trays to freeze. It is great for taking one “cube” out just for a one dish meal. I had some frozen already so I labeled them to use 1st and 2nd.

Now that the pesto is done. Just throw it together with the rest of the ingredients.

Pesto Quinoa Salad
Servings 4-6 (depending on who you are feeding)
What to use:
1 C dry quinoa (or other grain)
1/2(ish) C pesto
1 bag of Trader Joes Soycatash OR 1 C corn, 1 C shelled edamane, and 1 red bell pepper
1 C chopped tomatoes
1/2 (ish) C feta (or goat cheese)
salt and pepper

What to do:Make the quinoa or if you wish to use another grain…GO FOR IT!

Mix the quinoa and pesto.

Mix the soycatash, tomatoes, and feta.

Add a little (garlic)salt and pepper. ENJOY!

NOTES: I would have added probably a 1/2 c chopped almonds (or another nut) but I already had some today. I would also have added an avocado if I had remembered to get one at T.J’s!

This is super easy! No real cooking involved so you do not heat up the kitchen on warm days!

Do you have A/C?

Do you cook on hot days?

7 Responses to “Pesto Quinoa Salad”

  1. MoM June 6, 2013 at 10:17 PM #

    Yes I have a/c! Hello. I’m in the Southwest !

  2. Change of Pace June 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM #

    Looks delicious! I’ve never really liked pesto, but perhaps I’d like homemade stuff? I just don’t want to have to do that many dishes!
    No AC, but it is only hot here for a couple months, so I embrace the hot house!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats June 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM #

      I hate dishes!! It is the worst part about cooking! 🙂 This pesto is very calm on the taste buds. You could try using arugula instead! Use lots of cheese too! You can also forget about the pesto and just use some olive oil and garlic salt! Easy!

  3. Kristen L June 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM #

    Your pesto looks amazing. I have never made pesto before, but I look forward to trying it at some point.

  4. Robin June 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM #

    Just to be clear – you do cook the quinoa first, right?

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