31 Days of Gluten-Free Life: Pesto Quinoa

31 Days of Gluten-Free Life

I thought I’d share recipes that I’ve altered to make them gluten-free so that people have some options for feeding their families who have people with gluten sensitivities. In this recipe, we’re substituting quinoa in place of orzo.

Pesto Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1 block thawed pesto. (This works out to 1/4 – 1/3 cup.)
1 4 oz. container feta cheese. (I used Athenos which is the only brand I like.)
1 jar pitted Kalamata olives. (I used Mezzetta.)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)

Place the 1 cup of quinoa in a fine strainer and run cold water over it to rinse off any powder. (Rinse untile the water runs clear and make sure it drains well.) Boil the quinoa in 2 cups water, and then turn down to let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This is important or the quinoa will start burning on the bottom.) It will be done when the grains are translucent and the perm has spiraled out. Combine the quinoa with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and toss together so that the pesto coats all of the quinoa evenly and the rest of the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the dish.

This works well as a side dish though I’ve eaten it as my main course most of the time.

For those who want my family’s pesto recipe (which makes a lot so be prepared to freeze it), here it is:

8 cups basil leaves packed into food processor
1 head garlic or more Peeled and separated.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 cup walnuts or pine nuts.

Pack the basil leaves into the food processor. Pulse 8-10 times so that the level starts to drop. Place the garlic cloves in the food processor and press into the basil leaves. Add some of the olive oil and pulse several more times. Repeat adding oil and garlic until oil is completely added and the mixture is a paste. Add the walnuts/pine nuts and pulse several times, just enough to chop and mix. Add the shredded parmesan and pulse several times, just enough to mix. Press into a container and refrigerate for several hours.

Divide into the portion sizes you expect to need, and package in Press’n Seal or Saran Wrap. Put the individual packages into a ziplock bag and freeze.