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Gluten-free/ Recipes/ Side Dishes

Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto {gluten-free with dairy-free option}

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Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto – This Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl takes your favorite summer flavors and combines them with heart healthy olive oil plus protein and nutrient-packed quinoa. #quinoa #glutenfree #dairyfree #easyrecipes #easyrecipe #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes

When the weather gets hot, a cool, easy to prepare meal is just what you need. This Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto takes your favorite summer flavors and combines them with heart healthy olive oil plus protein and nutrient-packed quinoa.

Preparing a large batch of quinoa and keeping it on hand in the fridge means you have a super easy base for all kinds of meals and treats. This power bowl is no exception!

Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto Recipe

Simply combine quinoa with WFN extra virgin olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss with tiny tomatoes and fresh mozzarella pearls. Top with an easy homemade pesto and you’re good to go.

You can use chopped tomatoes in this recipe of course. However, if you want to make it ahead to take to a party, potluck, or picnic (all great places to enjoy this tasty power bowl!) using tiny, uncut grape tomatoes means it won’t get soggy.

Caprese is traditionally made from fresh, ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves then drizzled with olive oil. So simple, yet such a tantalizing flavor combination! But what if you can’t have dairy?

Is caprese REALLY caprese without the mozzarella? Maybe not, but don’t let that stop you from making this delicious quinoa power bowl if you can’t eat dairy!

This power bowl is still delicious without the mozzarella pearls! Furthermore, pesto – while most often thought of as made with cheese and nuts – does not have to be made with dairy. The word pesto literally means “pounding”, so really any combination of green herbs, garlic, and oil can be a pesto.

Make Your Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl Dairy-Free

To make this caprese quinoa power bowl with basil pesto both dairy-free and vegan, you can easily omit the mozzarella pearls and the parmesan in the basil pesto..

Without the mozzarella and parmesan you could call this a tomato basil quinoa power bowl. Or, who cares what it’s called? It’s so light, refreshing, and flavorful the name really doesn’t matter! Let’s just call it a big bowl of deliciousness.

What Type of Nuts Are Used in Pesto?

When you think pesto what comes to mind? Basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and pine nuts?

Y’all, pine nuts are expensive! But did you know that you can also make pesto with different kinds of nuts? WFN pecans are absolutely perfect for a pesto! Soaking and dehydrating gives the pecans have a less tannic flavor.  Their buttery smoothness is also perfect for blending into a fresh basil pesto.

You could also try pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or even macadamia nuts. For best nutrition choose soaked and dehydrated nuts like the high quality nuts here at WO.

This caprese quinoa power bowl with basil pesto makes such a grain main entree or side dish. Packed with protein (and complete protein at that) quinoa makes a perfectly healthy dish all on its own. But this quinoa power bowl also makes a great accompaniment to grilled meats. Give our Paleo Italian-Marinated Steak & Mushrooms a try!

Try These Other Picnic Friendly Dishes

Where will you enjoy this caprese quinoa power bowl with basil pesto? On a picnic? At a potluck? For a quick and easy lunch?

Print Recipe
Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto
When the weather gets hot, a cool, easy to prepare meal is just what you need. This Caprese Quinoa Power Bowl with Basil Pesto takes your favorite summer flavors and combines them with heart healthy olive oil plus protein and nutrient-packed quinoa. This power bowl is gluten-free with dairy-free and vegan options.
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
cups
Ingredients
For the Quinoa
For the Basil Pesto
For the Quinoa Power Bowl
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
cups
Ingredients
For the Quinoa
For the Basil Pesto
For the Quinoa Power Bowl
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cook the Quinoa
  1. In a sauce pan, bring water to boil then add quinoa.
  2. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed
  3. Remove from heat, fluff, and set aside to cool (you can also put it in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the ingredients).
Make the Basil Pesto
  1. Using the chopping/pureeing blade of a food processor add the basil, Parmesan cheese (see notes if not using preshredded cheese), garlic, pecans, and salt into the bowl and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. With the food processor on low slowly add the olive oil. Process until well incorporated. Set aside.
Put the Power Bowl Together
  1. In a mixing bowl combine the quinoa, grape tomatoes, and mozzarella.
  2. In a smaller bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa mixture and stir well to combine thoroughly.
  4. Refrigerate until chilled through then top with Basil Pesto as desired before serving.
Recipe Notes

*If using a chunk of Parmesan you may want to shred it first or process it separately first then add the nuts and garlic.

**This power bowl keeps very well in the fridge for several days if using uncut grape tomatoes.

***To make this power bowl dairy-free and vegan, omit the parmesan in the pesto and the mozzarella pearls.

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