Healthy Vegetarian Recipes:
Double Broccoli Quinoa

Healthy vegetarian recipes featuring quinoa will provide you with the protein your body needs to function at its best, and is well worth a try if you haven¬ít eaten quinoa before.  In fact, quinoa is so little known that you can be forgiven for not even having heard of it, or passing it by on the shelves of your local store without a second thought.

Quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wah' rather than 'kin-o-wa'), is a fabulous grain from South America used in great quantities by the Inca civilization who saw it as the sacred mother.  It grows best at altitudes of over 10,000 feet in the Andes and is growing greatly in popularity in North America and the rest of the world, due to its soft texture and mild nutty taste.  It only takes 15 minutes to cook and is a great source of low-glycemic, gluten-free protein. In fact, its protein content is far greater than other grain, such as corn, barley or rice, and you may be surprised to learn that it contains even more calcium than milk!

You probably need no introduction to broccoli, which is a member of the cabbage family closely related to cauliflower.  Like quinoa, broccoli contains substantial quantities of calcium and also has a number of antioxidant compounds (such as dithiolthiones and indoles) which act to reduce the risk of cancer. Were this not enough, vitamins A and B5 (pantothenic acid) are present in high quantities in this magnificent vegetable!

Healthy vegetarian recipes like this one, containing large amounts of both broccoli and quinoa, will guarantee that you receive your daily recommended intake of calcium, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals necessary for the healthy functioning of your body.  Add this together with the excellent taste of all the ingredients, including modest amounts of parmesan and double cream, and all-in-all this is a complete winner of a dish!

Photo: Keith McDuffee

Double Broccoli Quinoa

Yield 4
Prep Time 60 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


3 cups cooked quinoa
5 cups chopped broccoli
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 pinches salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a large pot. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Stir in broccoli, cover and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a strainer to drain.
  3. For the broccoli pesto, use a food processor to puree 2 cups broccoli, garlic cloves, 1/2 cup almonds, parmesan, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse while adding olive oil and cream until smooth.
  4. Toss cooked quinoa with remaining broccoli and 1/2 the broccoli pesto. Taste and add pesto, salt, and additional lemon juice as desired.
  5. Place on serving platter and add additional toppings as desired.

Optional toppings: sliced basil, fire oil (see recipe below), avocado pieces, crumbled feta or goat cheese.

To make the fire oil: heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a saucepan until hot but not smoking. Turn off the heat and add 1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes and stir. Allow to cool before using. A nice addition to other healthy vegetarian recipes as well if you want to give them a little kick.

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