Quinoa cooked in coconut milk, tossed with kale and cilantro-cashew “tropical” pesto—a warm salad. Healthy and vegan, yes, but delicious above all.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed under running water in a fine mesh colander for a couple of minutes
1 cup light coconut milk
1 small bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (for a total of about 4 cups chopped kale)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes*
Tropical Cilantro-Cashew Pesto
2 cups cilantro, packed
scant 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lime, juiced (or more, to taste)
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and mix in the red onion. Cover and set aside. Make the pesto: combine cilantro, cashews and garlic in a food processor. Start processing the mixture, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, lime juice and red pepper flakes, all to taste, and blend well. In a medium serving bowl, combine the warm coconut quinoa, chopped kale and pesto. Mix well with a big spoon and season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut flakes for a few minutes until golden and fragrant, stirring often. Top the salad with coconut flakes and serve warm.