Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

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Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}
Since I have started sprouting foods myself, a few months back, I have been pretty excited not only with how much more delicious so many of my favorite foods are, but how much easier they have been to digest. Sprouting seeds and beans especially, have seriously reduced the amount of bloating I have felt with certain foods. Sprouted quinoa is one of my absolute favorites to sprout. It’s super simple and I love knowing that I am maximizing the full nutritional benefits of the quinoa this way. Be sure to check out my recent post on how-to sprout, to read more about why this is and how to do it.
Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

This super easy, vibrantly-colored quinoa bowl is so easy to throw together and it’s full of so many amazing flavors. Seriously, if you don’t count the sprouting time, you can have this for dinner – completely made and on the table in under 30 minutes. It’s just that easy. Besides the food processor to make the pesto, it’s a one pot meal, which I am ALL about. I love easy meals like this, where it can all cook in one pot and your entire meal is in one bowl. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

With all of the many different greens we’ve been getting in our CSA box each week I have actually made variations on this recipe too, last week I actually made it with swiss chard instead of the kale and it was just as amazing. I know arugula or spinach would be incredible, too.

Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

I love that you still get the traditional basil pesto flavor, only enhanced by the almonds and the kale. We like to go kinda heavy with the red pepper flakes, since we like a little heat, but you can easily leave them out. I have made this dish both with sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano and without and I can honestly tell you that it is delicious both ways. This quinoa bowl is great as a side dish, but we usually enjoy it on it’s own, as our main entree, since it has everything you would need, all in one.

The best part is, this is one of those two-for-one posts. The pesto recipe included here would also be great on pasta, as a dip with your favorite veggies, cracker or homemade bread. You could also serve it over steamed or grilled veggies, on top of meat or fish – really the possibilities are endless.

Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

[print_this]Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}
Serves 2-4, depending on if it’s a side or a main

Kale Almond Pesto
makes about 1 1/2 cups pesto

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 very large handfuls raw kale, washed, stems removed and roughly torn
  • 1/4 cup toasted unsalted almonds (I prefer to use raw almonds that have been soaked then dehydrated before toasting)
  • 1 tightly packed cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • optional: 1/2 cup sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, you could also add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, to keep vegan

Add the garlic to the food processor and whir around a bit to mince it up. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the olive oil. Puree until the mixture is somewhat smooth. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil. If adding cheese or nutritional yeast, I add that at the end.

Scrape down the sides and process until the pesto is fully mixed.

You can probably also make this in a high speed blender, but since I don’t have one, I use the food processor.

Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto

  • 1 cup quinoa, that has been sprouted* (this will actually come out to more than one cup after it has been sprouted)
  • 1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth**
  • approximately 1 1/2 cups Kale Almond Pesto (recipe above)
  • 1 handful kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • fresh basil and toasted almond slivers, for serving
  • Optional: grated sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

Sprout your quinoa by soaking it for approximately 5 hours and sprouting it over 1-3 days. Please see my post here on how-to sprout.

Once the quinoa has been sprouted, make sure it has been rinsed, drained and is somewhat dry. Heat a medium-sized pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add your quinoa to the pan and toast, stirring, until the grains have separated and begin to smell fragrant. Just a couple of minutes. Add the water or broth, a very small pinch of sea salt and bring it to a boil, once boiling reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. (see my below notes on how much liquid to use)

Once the quinoa is cooked, reduce the heat to low, add the kale almond pesto to the pan, along with the remaining fresh kale, stir well to combine. Cover and give it a few minutes to heat through and to wilt the fresh kale.

Serve immediately while warm with toasted almond silvers, red pepper flakes and fresh basil, on top. You can also top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Enjoy.

This dish can also be served room temperature or even chilled.


* Regular quinoa can be used, you will want a full two cups of liquid and it will take more like 15-20 minutes to fully cook.

** You may need a bit more liquir, you may need less. The amount of liquid needed can vary with sprouted quinoa. I started with 1 1/2 cups of water and then added another 1/4 cup near the end when I saw it could use more.[/print_this]

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10 Responses

  1. Isadora says:

    This looks delicious and I LOVE the idea of one pot, quick meals that involve quinoa and pesto! I’ve never sprouted anything before so I’ll have to go take a look at your How-to Sprout tutorial, I’m very intrigued by it 🙂

  2. Wow it’s so vibrantly green! I love it!

    I have been meaning to start sprouting more but my schedule has just been so hectic! Hopefully this summer I can get back into it!

  3. Laura H says:

    Hello! I just found your blog by chance, and I love it! Your pictures are so vibrant! Recipes look delicious!! I went to google “the benefits of warm water with lemon” and when I did, your blog was the first thing to pop up! Happy dance! I have been vegan for about 6 months now, and I feel soooo great! Looking forward to learning from you! xo

  4. This looks wayyyyy to good! I never thought of adding pesto to quinoa! Great recipe 🙂

  5. Barb Grimes says:

    I made this tonight! It was awesome.
    The sprouting was super easy and only took 2 days for me. Thanks so much Beth!!

  6. Angi H says:

    I tried sprouting quinoa this week and it just got slimy and didn’t do a thing. Does it have to have a special kind? Or do they treat the seed? I used the same stuff I’ve been cooking with, which I buy in bulk from Azure Standard I believe.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Angi, BUMMER!! I have done this several times and never had an issue. Doesn’t have to be an special kind, but it does have to be truly raw. I also would always recommend organic, but non-organic should still sprout. You have the jar tipped so the water would continue to drip out, correct?

      • Angi H says:

        I soaked it overnight, then drained, tipped up the jar and rinsed often. It looks like I probably ordered organic, but it may be older too. How do you know if it is truly raw? I love quinoa cooked and can’t wait to taste it sprouted!

  7. I love how green this bowl is – beautiful! I went crazy sprouting everything in site last summer (Im in Southern Australia and currently its very cold and not really conducive to sprouting!) and I definitely noticed how much easier the sprouted grains and seeds were to digest too. Will definitely have to try this one out once it warms up a little here – I can’t go past a warm bowl of soup at the moment! 😉

  8. Natasha says:

    Just made this delish dish…! I love pesto and this recipe will definitely become a favorite. Never sprouted quinoa before. Will definitely do that more often. Thank you Beth!

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