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Healthy Quinoa Salad & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe

Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Florentina


  • 2 c quinoa
  • 3 1/2 c water hot
  • 3.4 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 c pine nuts or pumpkin seeds toasted
  • 1 c baby arugula
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1 c fresh green peas steamed
  • 1/4 c goat cheese optional
  • Pea shoots for garnish
  • 1 lbbest grilled chicken optional


  • In a medium bowl add the sun dried tomatoes and cover them with the hot water. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until rehydrated and cool enough to handle.
  • Transfer the sun dried tomatoes to a cutting board and slice them. Reserve the water.
  • In a medium size sauce pan add the quinoa and the water the sun dried tomato have soaked in. Bring to a gentle simmer and season with a pinch of sea salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about 18 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let the quinoa sit covered for 20 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
  • Meanwhile make the sun dried tomato pesto. Reserve a handful of the sliced tomatoes for garnish and add the rest to a small food processor together with 1/3 cup of the toasted nuts, the grated garlic and 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth but with a little texture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Transfer the cooked quinoa to the bowl with the sun dried tomato pesto and gently toss to coat all over. Adjust seasonings to your taste with more sea salt if desired.
  • Add the baby arugula and green peas to the bowl and mix to combine.
  • Transfer the quinoa to a serving platter and serve garnished with the reserved sun dried tomatoes, pea shoots and a few baby arugula leaves. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted nuts and grilled chicken if desired.