To Zucchini & Spinach Quinoa with Avocado Pesto

The moment when you lay eyes on a recipe or a photo of a dish and you automatically know that you have to make it and soon. Not the kind of deal where you Pin It but don’t get around till a few seasons pass, rather within the week of seeing you make it. Heck my favorite is within the day or hour you spontaneously create (without a required trip to the grocery store).

This recipe my friend Jess emailed over to me and with one glance at it we agreed it would be our lunch post our planned St. Paddy’s Day 8K Race. I’m currently on my last spring break so decided to come up to Chicago for a few days. Yesterday morning we raced in freezing weather (I dont think it broke 34 degrees yesterday) and Chicago is in fact WINDY! We chilled out in a store waiting for the bus to come because post race sweat freeze is quite possibly one of the worst things to experience.

Naturally, we had to reward ourselves so we made this for our lunch. Oh yeah it is totally St. Patrick’s Day friendly. Go get your green on (:

Recipe: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free (Adapted from Oh She Glows)

Zucchini & Spinach Quinoa with Avocado Pesto

Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked white quinoa
1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa
2 medium zucchini, sliced (or vegetable of choice)
3 handfuls spinach

For the pesto:
1/2 large avocado (about 1/3-1/2 cup flesh)
2 small or 1 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
fine grain sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1/4 tsp)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves (one entire 40-gram package)

Directions: 
Add both quinoas to a medium pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, sauté the zucchini in a skillet with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper for about 5-10 minutes, or until much of the water has cooked off. Add a few handfuls of spinach into the skillet and cook until wilted.
To prepare the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Adjust salt to taste.
To assemble: Season the quinoas with a bit of pepper. Toss together with the spinach and zucchini saute mix. Portion onto plates and then spoon on a generous amount of dressing and serve!

Zucchini & Spinach Quinoa with Avocado Pesto (2)

Cheers and Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the chIRISH city (:

n

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