Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto

Did everyone have a good weekend? We went to Morganton to see the rents and run in the Sunrise run. It was Michael's second 5k ever (first being last year's race) and he dropped 30 seconds! Impressive considering he hasn't exactly been running a whole lot lately. He's upping it to a 10k in just 2 weeks too. Since it's put on by Brixx, he'll have brewskis motivating him to finish, so he should be good. =)

We haven't made quinoa in a while, so I was pretty excited to try this recipe when I stumbled on it in a Cooking Light from last summer. The ground red pepper gives it a nice little kick and the orange juice flavor is really soaked up nicely in the quinoa. If you wanted to save some time, you could use jarred roasted red pepper, but the method below is pretty quick and easy for making it on your own. Definitely a keeper recipe!


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 12 pitted olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios


  1. Preheat broiler on high.
  2. Cut red bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12-15 minutes or until blackened.
  3. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and chop.
  4. Meanwhile, place quinoa, broth, 1/2 cup water, and juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Place cilantro, olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.
  6. Combine bell pepper, quinoa mixture, cilantro mixture, and olives in a large bowl.
  7. Sprinkle with nuts.


Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Well done on the run! I've actually just started running, after hating it for most of my life, and have set myself a goal to run a half marathon in May. Probably crazy of me, but you've just given me a perfect idea - I will make sure there is cold beer to think about through the tough kms! Cold beer and tasty quinoa. Great recipe.

grace said...

a 5k is no small feat--i'm impressed!! and wow--great dish. the crunchy pistachios are definitely the draw for me, but each component is amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful dish. I want to make more quinoa so I am always looking for good recipes and you have good recipes anf this one looks worthy of making. Thanks.

Paula said...

There is translate button in the upper right corner :)

Heather S-G said...

Wow, that's awesome...I'm always impressed by runners (as I loathe running, myself)!! And the quinoa sounds excellent...lovin' the pistachios =)

Unknown said...

sounds like it was a great race! and this sounds delish--reminds me of something i had recently, in fact, so i know it's a winning combo :)

Chef E said...

I love new quinoa recipes, so thanks! I did have one the other day that left a bad taste- with crab, just had no flavor in quinoa and so crab over powered it, but I think I can make a better version.

Yes, I will steal them, but for next week! Thanks!

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