There was a period of my life where it seemed the only food blog I followed from was 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson, who also authors two books: Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day.
I own both and they are both signed copies. This is how much I adore Heidi. There was this one recipe that I kept coming back to again and again: Double Broccoli Quinoa. Heidi’s recipe called for cooking up a bunch of broccoli florets and using some in a pureed sauce, and mixing the rest into quinoa along with the sauce. It was amazing. And it was chock full of dairy. So once we switched to a plant-based diet, I knew I had to “veganize” it. This is my attempt.
First, the broccoli.
I bet if I took a poll, at least half of the people who buy fresh heads of broccoli will admit to discarding the stalks when preparing it for a recipe. This makes me sad. Not just because of the poor stalks who never got to fulfill their culinary destiny, but because of how many times I have fallen into the category of people who throw away broccoli stalks. Let’s all use this opportunity confess our sins against stalks together, and vow never to do it again. Ok? Here’s your penance:
This sauce is made of broccoli stalks! I feel better already.
No wasted broccoli!
This recipe has three heads of broccoli in it. The florets all go into the final dish, and the stalks all go into the sauce. No waste, no regret! You gotta love that.
The stalks and florets are cooked separately, and then the stalks are blended together with:
- nutritional yeast
The result is a lovely sauce that’s creamy, smooth, savory, and completely oil-free.
BULK COOK GRAINS FOR QUICK MEALS
Adding to the simplicity of this dish is pre-cooked quinoa. My tip for easy weeknight meals is this: bulk cook grains ahead of time. It is so convenient to pull out a big bag of pre-cooked quinoa from the freezer and have it at the ready. That said, if you don’t have cooked quinoa for this recipe, use this opportunity to cook a whole bunch to make this and freeze the rest for another time.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
So now you have your broccoli, your quinoa, and your sauce. It’s time to put it all together!
toast some almonds
slice some avocado
get out some red pepper flakes
mix quinoa, broccoli and sauce together
top with the almonds, avocado and red pepper flakes
Enjoy this broccoli quinoa bowlPrint
- 6 cups cooked quinoa (from 3 cups dried, approx.)
- 3 heads of broccoli, separated into chopped florets and chopped stem pieces
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 lemon
- 2 avocados, 1/2 reserved
- 1 cup blanched almonds, soaked for at least an hour
- 3 T. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- For topping:
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Avocado, sliced
- Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. While you wait, prep the broccoli by cutting the florets into bite sized pieces, and the stem into 1″ slices. Keep the florets and stems separate.
- Once the water comes to boil, add the broccoli stems and garlic cloves. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the stems are tender. Remove the stems and garlic cloves from the water with a strainer and place in a blender.
- Now, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Add the precooked quinoa and cook for 1 minute to warm the quinoa through. Drain the florets and quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and return to the pan.
- Add the lemon, 1/2 of an avocado, 1 cup of almonds (drain the soaking water), nutritional yeast, salt, and 2 cups of water to the blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, adding water 1/4 cup at a time to thin if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the quinoa and broccoli florets, and stir to mix the sauce throughout.
- Serve the quinoa topped with toasted almonds, avocado, and crushed red pepper flakes, if you like.
If you don’t have quinoa pre-cooked, prepare 3 cups dried quinoa according to the package instructions, which will yield about 6 cups total.