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Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto

Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto

I love making this recipe. It’s a favourite in my home and any leftovers are quickly devoured the next day for lunch or another dinner.  I love the fact that I can easily adapt the vegetables I use based on the season. Combinations such as roasted pumpkin and zucchini, asparagus and garden fresh peas, roasted eggplant, spanish onion and tomato work perfectly. The finishing touch is a generous scoop of pesto and a scattering of freshly chopped garden herbs, lemon zest and Persian Feta.

What’s great about it:

Quinoa is gluten free and has a low GI of 53, it is a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for repair.  It’s also a good source of lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair, which makes it a perfect meal after a hard workout. Pumpkin is low GI, a good source of fibre that will fill you up without blowing you out. Greens such as fresh parsley and basil are full of superfood goodness that is anti-inflammatory to the body such as chlorophyll wich helps to nourish the digestive system, support detoxification and elimination. Garlic and black pepper are anti-inflammatory and can stimulate digestion.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (4)

600 g / 21 oz pumpkin  cut into large chunks
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 red onion, cut into wedges
6 baby zucchini, sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 lemon
small bunch parsley chopped
1 – 2 tablespoons pesto depending on your taste


  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Combine pumpkin and red onion with a little olive oil.
  3. Season with ground pepper and a little cinnamon.
  4. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  5. Saute the zucchini lightly in a pan over the stove.  You don’t really want to roast this as they only take 2 – 3 minutes to quickly cook in a pan. Season lightly and set aside.
  6. Remove vegetables from the oven.
  7. Add the quinoa,  zucchini, parsley and pesto. Taste and add adjust accordingly.
  8. Serve as is or garnish with garden herbs, Persian feta.
  9. Spoon into serving bowls and enjoy.
+ notes & inspiration +
  • Additions: Top with crumbled feta, chickpeas or ricotta or top with steamed white fish for a protein boost.
  • Add extra vegetables such as baby spinach or sauteed kale.
  • Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nut just before serving.


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