It's Monday, but it's ok because I have a kick but recipe for you today! This powerhouse is another recipe where you only have to do the work once and then you get to reap the benefits all week long in the form of a delicious lunch bursting with nutritious whole foods! This recipe is yummy, gluten free, and vegan. So much goodness wrapped up into one easy to create bowl! I very loosly adapted this dish from a recipe I saw over at Oh She Glows. If yo've never read Angela's blog, I highly highly recommend it!
The first step to every delicious meal is to assemble your fresh ingredients.
Next, you want to enhance their inner beauty with a little melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper. We can go light on these since our butternut squash is so rich and creamy on its own.
Then we need to add a little heat to unlock the wonderful flavors of these vibrant veggies. About 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick.
While those beauties roasting in the oven, we can prepare our quinoa and pesto. Pesto is actually extremely easy to make. This was my first attempt at homemade pesto, and I will never buy it premade ever again! All you have to do is throw all of your ingredients in a blender and voila, fresh pesto at your finger tips.
Once your vegetables and quinoa are finished, all that is left is to toss everything together in a large bowl. Check out those beautiful colors. I could eat an entire bowl of butternut squash plain, so when you add the zucchini, quinoa, and pesto it takes it to a whole new level!
Now is the best part of cooking........eating! I served myself up a huge plate of pesto veggie goodness and chowed down for lunch.
Avocado Pesto Green Quinoa
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Keywords: bake stove top side entree gluten-free vegan
Ingredients (4 servings)
For main dish:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 large zucchinis chopped
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small avocado
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
- 1 oz fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Place chopped butternut squash and zucchini in a large zip lock bag. Pour 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (you could substitute olive oil) over vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss bag to coat vegetables.
3) Pour vegetables into a large baking dish and roast vegetables for 30 minutes or until squash is soft.
4) While vegetables are roasting, mix 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover pan with lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa has absorbed all of the water.
Next, peel and pit avocado.
5) Place avocado, olive oil, garlic, basil, water, salt, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor.
Pulse until smooth.
6) Combine vegetables, quinoa, and pesto in a large mixing bowl and stir until well mixed.
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I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor this dish had. It makes the perfect lunch, or even a zesty side dish to compliment your favorite entree. If you give it a try let me know!
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