In case you are not familiar with quinoa. Quinoa has been called a superfood. Protein content is very high for a cereal/grain product. Quinoa's protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. A nice plus is that is also very mild in flavor and mixes with other ingredients well.
- Heat the quinoa and set aside.
- Steam the broccoli lightly. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer. Set aside.
- To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.
- Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want to add more of the pesto a bit at a time, or you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds and some sliced avocado or any of the other optional toppings.
*To cook quinoa: rinse one cup of quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa, two cups of water (or broth if you like), and a few big pinches of salt until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes.