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!


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.


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



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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