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Pesto Quinoa with Coconut Bac'n

Any excuse I get to put pesto on something, I'll take it! I've created a version that is lower in fat, omits the gallons of oil and dairy in conventional pesto, and is so beautifully basil-y and vibrant. Throw in some crunchy coconut bacon bits and goll-ee what a dish!

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups quinoa

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups peeled zucchini

flesh of 1 ripe avocado

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup fresh basil (can also add spinach, arugula)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

dash pepper

2 Tbsp water (or as little as needed for blender to spin)

1 small clove garlic 

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shreds)

2 tsp coconut aminos (or reduced-sodium tamari)

1 tsp maple syrup
dash liquid smoke

handful fresh parsley, minced

METHOD

Quinoa: Combine quinoa with broth in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer 15 mins. Fluff with a fork and let rest, covered, 5 more mins.

 

Pesto: Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender until creamy. 

 

Bac'n: Toss the coconut flakes with the other ingredients and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes, occasionally flipping/shaking them. You’ll want to watch them (seriously) as they can quickly go from perfect golden- brown to burnt.

Mix the fluffy quinoa, creamy pesto sauce, and bac'n bits together. Garnish with fresh parsley and dig in. 

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