Basil Quinoa with Red Bell Pepper

quinoa

I promise I don’t live off of cookies and cupcakes although it might seem that way from my blog posts. More often than not, I try to cook healthy meals. There were a few ingredients in our fridge that I wanted to use up, so I decided to make a healthy side for dinner with red bell peppers, basil and quinoa. It makes about four servings and paired perfectly with our tilapia and broccoli.

Basil Quinoa with Red Bell Pepper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add basil to boiling water, stirring once and then draining immediately. Quickly place basil in ice bath to cool. Remove and gently squeeze out excess water.
  2. Place basil, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a food processor. Cover and process until nearly smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together warm, cooked quinoa and bell pepper. Add basil mixture and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
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  • I always use basil raw. What is the purpose of blanching basil?

    • I bet raw basil works just as well, but I blanched it because of cosmetic reasons, keeping it a bright green, and because blanched basil emulsifies more easily to produce a smoother mixture when blended with the other ingredients for the sauce. Hope that helps :)

  • I always use basil raw. What is the purpose of blanching basil?

    • I bet raw basil works just as well, but I blanched it because of cosmetic reasons, keeping it a bright green, and because blanched basil emulsifies more easily to produce a smoother mixture when blended with the other ingredients for the sauce. Hope that helps :)