Quinoa and Heirloom Tomato Pesto Salad

Quinoa is a very nutritious whole grain that can be eaten hot or cold. It has a nutty flavour and delicate texture that works well as a base for wholesome salads. It is notably high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and a range of nutrients. Quinoa comes in several different colours, alone or in a combination. They can be extra beneficial, being easier to digest and with more bioavailable nutrients, when they are soaked or sprouted. The quickest and easiest way to do it at home is to soak the quinoa overnight in a bowl of water. When ready to cook, drain and rinse it very thoroughly. Cook with 1 1/2 parts water to 1 part quinoa by bringing them to boil in a large pot on the stove over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the grains are softened. Alternatively, quinoa can be bought already sprouted (the process takes another day or two after the soaking session). When available, this is the most ideal option nutritionally and it cooks quickly, within 15 minutes.Heirloom tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes with colours ranging from purple to yellow to green. Some of my favourites are these medium sizes ones with stripes of different tones and colours. The nutrient profile and the flavour vary with different types and colours, so more can be better. Across the board they have enough depth of flavour and vibrancy to really elevate even the simplest of salads.Pine nuts are one of the ingredients in pesto and they are softer and sweeter than most other nuts. Along with the hemp seeds they add in a richness to the salad with some healthy fats, protein and fiber. Some green onion and fresh basil add in a burst of fresh flavour 

Quinoa and Heirloom Tomato Pesto Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 6 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, halved and sliced thickly
  • ½ cup pesto sauce
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup green onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 12 medium sized basil leaves, sliced thinly
  1. Stir the pesto sauce into the quinoa in a large bowl. Add in the pine nuts, green onion, hemp seeds and basil and toss to combine. Gently add in the tomato and fold until evenly distributed. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple days.

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