Meatless Monday Recipe: Pesto Quinoa and Arugula Salad

February 25, 2013

This warm quinoa salad is dressed with a punchy homemade orange hazelnut pesto. It’s then tossed with a generous amount of tangy arugula, fresh cherry tomatoes and a few big blocks of creamy Feta cheese.  It’s a perfect main course dish, it’s also wonderful tucked into a sandwich wrap for lunch or topped on a few slices of crunchy toasts with a drizzle of good olive oil.  It’s becoming a fast favorite in my house.

Pesto Quinoa and Arugula Salad
I had a few tablespoons of this Orange Hazelnut Pesto leftover in my fridge (which pulls together in just a few short minutes), but feel free to dress this salad with a pesto that you have on hand.

Serving Size: 2 (550 calories per serving)
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
2 generous tablespoons of Orange Hazelnut Pesto
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 ounces good Feta cheese, sliced into big cubes
1-2 cups arugula, loosely packed
sea salt, pepper

Better-for-you ingredients
Learn more about the better-for-you ingredients in this recipe:
Quinoa – Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is actually not a grain but a type of seed. It provides a complete protein, making it a popular staple in veggie-focused diets. Quinoa contains ~6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. Health beauties often swap in quinoa for rice in many recipes.
Arugula – Arugula is a potent anti-cancer food, rich in calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and potassium and a good source of vitamins A, C, K and folic acid.
Bring water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10-12 minutes. Then turn off the heat, remove pot from burner. Stir in the pesto, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the pesto quinoa together with the arugula, tomatoes, a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Gently fold in a few large cubes of Feta cheese. Enjoy immediately!