Mediterranean Quinoa Pilaf
A vegan quinoa pilaf inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean – olive oil, sundried tomatoes, red peppers, Kalamata olives and fresh basil. Quinoa provides all of the essential amino acids, and is a good source of fiber, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folate and zinc. Olive oil contains a heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat which will help with the absorption of lycopene from the sundried tomatoes.
- 1 cup quinoa (white)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp dairy-free pesto
- ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
- ½ cup roasted red pepper, diced
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, small dice
- ¼ cup fresh basil, shredded (chiffonade)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse quinoa in water using a fine-meshed strainer.
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and onions, and sweat for a couple of minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add pesto and quinoa. Stir mixture to coat the quinoa.
- Add vegetable broth and salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (medium-low) and cook quinoa for 20 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed). Remove saucepan from heat and allow contents to sit covered for an additional 5 minutes.
- Place quinoa pilaf in a bowl along with roasted red pepper, olives, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and freshly ground pepper to taste. Gently stir to combine. Adjust seasoning if required.
TO ROAST RED PEPPER
- Place whole peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast in a 450°F oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until blistered and charred, turning them twice during roasting.
- Place peppers in a paper bag and allow to cool for 30 minutes before handling.
- Remove stem and discard. Cut peppers into quarters, remove seeds and white membrane.
- Refrigerate roasted red peppers in a covered glass bowl until ready to use.