Broccoli Curry Pesto Bowls

We all have that extremely healthy-vegetable-obsessed–foodie-vegan friend. Sometimes when “that friend” comes over for dinner I feel vague anxiety about what I could make that would be satisfying for the vegan and me, the never-ever-ever-vegan.

I’m pleased to tell you that this delightful bowl of goodness has transcended the “what I make for vegans” category of cooking and made it into our regular rotation. I’ve made this a number of times for guests who are not the vegan, and it’s a crowd pleaser: beautiful to look at, full of flavor, incredibly fresh and body nourishing, and conceptually unique.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 1 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
  • 5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stalks
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 avocados
  • Microgreens/greens (I use whatever microgreens the store has, but chopped arugula or baby kale would work as well)
  • Chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
  • Other toppings as you like for beauty: radishes, shredded carrots, pickled radish or daikon, etc!

Preparation:

Cook the quinoa according to the quinoa instructions (usually 1 cup quinoa = 2 cups water, a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, drain excess water) and set aside. You should have about 3 cups cooked quinoa.

Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a pot with a steamer basket, and steam the broccoli just long enough to take the raw edge off. You want the broccoli to be bright green, and still have a lot of crunch/bite, but not be RAW. This usually only takes me about 2-3 minutes of steaming, but can depend on the size of the pot you use. Rinse the broccoli under cold water when it’s reached your desired done-ness to stop it cooking. If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can just put the broccoli directly in the pot with the water, but I find the cooking consistency is often a little off that way.

Toast the slivered almonds on the stovetop (this requires monitoring, they will burn). Just put the almonds in a pan – no oil needed – and heat on medium, stir regularly, and remove from heat when almonds have taken on a bit of color and smell fragrant.

Make the pesto by putting 2 cups of the steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup of the almonds, and the curry paste, garlic, coconut milk, lemon juice and salt into a food processor and blend. You want a pesto-like consistency!

Now toss the pesto, the cooked quinoa and the remainder of the broccoli together into a large bowl and mix well.

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Prep all your toppings and allow folks to decorate their bowls however they please. Avocado, remaining nuts, greens, chili paste, pickled things, etc. Enjoy!

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This recipe originates from 101 Cookbooks, which is full of awesome vegetarian and vegan recipes should you enjoy this enough to check it out. I have adjusted the original recipe by adding more curry paste and changing up the toppings, but it’s great as is.

 

 

 

 

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