Weekend Recipe: Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto
Any leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day
When I cook dinners at home, I often like to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. It's probably the main reason why I like to double this particular recipe, so I have a grab-and-go healthy meal over the next few days and I don't have to fuss too much in the kitchen.
I love that I can easily adapt the vegetables I use based on the season. Combinations such as roasted pumpkin and zucchini or asparagus and fresh peas work really well, and then all you have to do is fold through a little quinoa and serve with a generous spoonful of basil pesto.
Quinoa can be prepared very quickly, contains protein and is gluten free. If you're struggling to create the perfect pot, however, you can see my tips on how to cook quinoa perfectly, every time. Any leftover quinoa can be used in your breakfast porridge or mixed with tinned tuna, lemon and herbs for an irresistible tuna tabouli salad. This recipe is from my cookbook Purely Delicious.
- 600 g / 21 oz pumpkin, cut into large chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 6 zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup warm cooked quinoa
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons pesto (see recipe below)
- Feta cheese to serve (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°C
- Combine pumpkin and red onion and drizzle with a little olive oil then season with sea salt
- Roast for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender
- Roast zucchini on a separate tray for 10 – 15 minutes with a little olive oil then remove all the vegetables from the oven once ready
- Gently fold through the quinoa, zucchini, parsley, lemon juice and a spoonful of pesto
Serve on its own or garnished with a little feta and enjoy.
TO MAKE THE PESTO combine 2 bunches of basil with a generous handful of baby spinach leaves or rocket (arugula) leaves, 1 clove raw garlic, 30 g roasted walnuts, 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Season with black pepper and sea salt then blend until smooth. Taste and adjust according to your palate, adding more olive oil or lemon juice if required. Pesto will keep for one week in the fridge and can be used for salads, vegetables and soup recipes.
WATCH: This Fiber-Rich Grain Has Nearly as Much Protein as Quinoa
NOTES + INSPIRATION: Add a handful of pumpkin seeds or walnuts for texture and a protein boost.
"My main goal at The Healthy Chef is to get people cooking and eating healthier. Eat natural foods, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and just keep it simple." — Teresa Cutter