Ramadan Recipes: Lemon Scented Quinoa with Pesto and Kale

by Mozzified Contributor Shaina Shealy



  • 1tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 3 shallots diced
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (here I used a combo of red, black and regular quinoa)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups kale, chopped and massaged with lemon and salt
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Juice and zest of 1 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup roasted cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup currents
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions for garnish


Lay 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper) flat on pan and roast in 350 degrees until shriveled and brown on the outside. This may take up to 1.5 hours.

In the meantime, cook the quinoa according to the box (I like to toast the quinoa in a pan before cooking – it brings out a nuttier flavor and always makes the quinoa more fluffy and chewy rather than mushy).

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in pan. Add diced shallots and cook until brown. Add corn, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add currants last, leaving them in heat for 2 minutes – just enough to plump them.

Remove corn, shallots and currents from stove and stir in pesto.

In a separate bowl, add chopped kale, sea salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. “Massage” this marinade into the kale, gently rubbing the leaves until they become bright green and tender. This should only take 5 minutes.

When above components are complete, mix them together. Add pumpkin seeds and chopped right before serving so that they stay crunchy. The best part of this dish is the variety of texture – chewy quinoa, gummy roasted tomatoes, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. And look at all the beautiful colors!!

Shaina Shealy is a graduate student at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, where she focuses in Multimedia. Follow her on twitter @shainashealy.