Monday, 21 January 2013

Meat Free Monday: Jamie Oliver's Quinoa with Greens & Pistachio Pesto

So, you guys might remember me mentioning Meat Free Monday. You know, going meat free on Monday's to do my small part to help reduce over-demand of meat product which has lead to animals being bread for consumption in a HUGELY in-humane way. In cruel ways. I think as Anna described it, if 7 of us go meat free once a week, that's the same as one extra vegetarian in the world so reducing animal demand by one person.

Anyway, MFM was going really well, until Christmas. The break put some major cracks in the meat free plan, so I thought it was worth making the effort to cook something yummy to help encourage me to get back on track.

So here's my first dish. Here's what I'm having today for my Meat Free Monday lunch. A lovely Jamie Oliver Quinoa salad with Green and a Pistachio Pesto.


100g frozen peas
200g spinach
1 avocado
100g feta
100g pumpkin seeds
60g shelled pistachios
25g basil leaves
1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
80g red quinoa
80g quinoa (or just 160g mixed coloured quinoa)
1/2 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Vegan Bouillon Powder (so, I couldn't find this at Woolworths and didn't have the time to go anywhere else, so I just used some lovely Ottolenghi Lemon Myrtle Salt. Basically, you just want something to add some flavour to the quinoa)
170g purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli (although I just used broccolini cos it was easy to get my hands on and I just used two bunches, I didn't bother weighing as more is better in this instance)

Put the 160g of quinoa into a small saucepan with 400ml water and the 1/2 tsp of marigold powder, or whatever spice you want to add to give the quinoa a touch of flavour. Bring the quinoa to the boil, and then turn down and simmer for 15 - 20mins, or until the water has been absorbed but has a bit of crunch too it. If all the water absorbs before it's finished cooking, just add a splash more.

While the quinoa is cooking, put on another saucepan full of water to boil and chop up up the broccoli. Once the water has boiled, add the broccoli and cook for 2 - 3 mins. Then, add the 100g frozen peas and cook for another minute or two.
Basically, you want the broccoli cooked but still fresh with a bit of crunch, so not overcooked. Once it's ready, drain it and run it over cold water until the vegies are cold. What you're wanting to do is stop the cooking process.
While the quinoa is cooking, you can also toast the pumpkin seeds. Just stick the 100g of seeds on a tray lined with al-foil.
Put the tray in a warm oven (180 degrees celsius) for 5ish minutes, or until it's a bit golden. Unlike me, don't forget to put a timer on or you're likely to have to do two batches as the first back gets burnt to buggery.

Now it's time to make the pesto. All you need to do is...
...put the 60g pistachio's...
...25g basil leaves, zest and juice of the lemon as well as the 6 tbsp olive oil into a food processor and process until it's a smoothish paste. If it's too thick, add a little water or a little more oil. What's too thick? Up to you. It's pesto not dressing, do doesn't have to be super runny, but it still needs to spread well over all the tasty ingredients. Taste and season with salt and pepper if you want.

If it's not washed already, wash the 200g spinach and put it into a lovely big bowl.
Chop up the avocado and add it to the bowl. Crumble in 100g feta (although I just used the whole packed). Add in the blanched vegies, cooked quinoa and toss. Add as much pesto as you want and enjoy. It's a lovely, fresh salad with plenty of flavour and a touch of tang. Delish!


  1. About to make this for the second time.... yummy!

    1.'d HATE the amount of meat I ate on the boat, but it was out of my control. I do know everything had a sow stall/sustainable/free range life though (all of the meat was wild, or just left on an island to roam around it's whole life) so I do feel better about

    2. Making this today for the THIRD time! Must do breakky or drinks soon xx