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Quinoa With Roasted Lime Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Dates and Chipotle-Cilantro Pesto

Quinoa With Roasted Lime Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Dates and Chipotle-Cilantro Pesto

This dish puts a spin on pesto with a spicy and smoky chipotle kick.
By Tania Goulart

This dish puts a spin on pesto with a spicy and smoky chipotle kick. A medley of flavors arouse the senses: caramelized brussels sprouts are kissed with a hint of lime, dates serve up a touch of maple sweetness and toasted almonds provide a nutty crunch. The key is finding local, fresh, and tasty ingredients to maximize flavor. Enjoy!

Quinoa with Roasted Lime Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Dates and Chipotle-Cilantro Pesto
 
This dish puts a spin on pesto with a spicy and smoky chipotle kick. A medley of flavors arouse the senses: caramelized brussels sprouts are kissed with a hint of lime, dates serve up a touch of maple sweetness and toasted almonds provide a nutty crunch. The key is finding local, fresh, and tasty ingredients to maximize flavor. Enjoy!
Author:
Recipe Type: Entree, Side Dish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Chipotle-Cilantro pesto Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 2.5 cups of cilantro leaves and stems, chopped roughly and packed
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly cracked/ground coriander seeds
  • 1 medium garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tblsp of lime juice (approximately one medium lime), freshly squeezed
  • 2 tblsp of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remaining Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of quinoa, very well rinsed
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1½ lbs of medium sized Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed (if ragged), halved lengthwise
  • 4 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Juice of one medium lime (approx 1.5 tblsp), freshly squeezed
  • 2 handfuls of Baby Arugula
  • 1 large ripe avocado cut into tiny cubes
  • 4 green onions/scallions thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup of almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup of medjool dates coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup of Gouda cheese in large shavings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
** Protein Alternative: 1.5 cups Cooked, shredded, boneless, skinless chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the quinoa: Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed quinoa with 3 cups of water and ½ tsp sea salt in a large heavy-bottom pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 20 min or until the quinoa reveals the curlique – “tail” and is tender. Drain, if necessary and put into a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, roast the brussels sprouts: Toss the halved brussels sprouts in a bowl with 2 tblsp of olive oil until just lightly coated. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Spread the coated and seasoned sprouts evenly amongst 1-2 large rimmed large baking sheets (they must not be crowded or they will steam and not brown) and into the oven. Roast for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, flipping them in the oven 2 or 3 times, until they are crispy and browned yet tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle the 1.5 tblsp of lime juice evenly across the brussels sprouts.
  4. While the quinoa and sprouts are cooking, make the pesto: Pulse the cilantro, pumpkin seeds, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1 tblsp lime juice, ⅓ cup oil, then ⅓ cup of water, blending until coarse purée forms. Add the adobo sauce. Season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. In the large bowl with the quinoa, add 2 tblsp of olive oil, add in the brussels sprouts, add half of the pesto and toss well. Add the arugula, green onion/scallions, dates and avocado cubes to the bowl, toss again lightly, place into bowls, then garnish with toasted almonds and shaved cheese. Add remaining pesto as desired. Finish with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
**Protein Alternative: Add cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken that has been seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, just after adding the pesto.
 

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