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Growing up I did not really like vegetables. No big surprise there. I mean I ate carrots and salad but peas, corn brussel sprouts and spinach were just gross.

You grow up and {hopefully} your tastes buds grow up right along with you. Today my favorite vegetables are brussel sprouts, and I bought my first sweet potatoes just a few weeks ago. I really like them I just don’t usually buy any potatoes.

Over the weekend Scott and I went to dinner with a friend to a swanky Austin joint where I put the most delicious things in my mouth.

I ordered Scallops with Bacon Fig Jam and Grilled Brussel Sprouts. This was so so yummy. We had tons of food, mostly small plates of happiness that we all shared including Quinoa Risotto with roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rosemary Pesto. Our server, Lindsay, said this tasted like Fall in a cup. Luckily I heard her say we needed to stir it all together when I came out or else it would be in layers and the bottom would just taste like white wine blasted quinoa.

Stir we did and it was the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. It tasted like Thanksgiving!

Please, please can I have the recipe?!?

Lindsay went to the kitchen and returned with brief verbal instructions for this warm creamy vegan {what?} treat. The next day I made it, and now I’m going to share the recipe with y’all. Plus, I’ve been MIA and I thought you deserved a treat. I did not make this vegan, instead I used chicken stock because it is what I had on hand.

This is super healthy and so perfect for Fall.

Simply Sheila :: Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa Risotto with roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rosemary Pesto

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 for a main dish

2 Sweet Potatoes
1 c uncooked quinoa
1/2 c white wine
4 c vegetable broth {chicken works fine, too}
1 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 – 1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
salt and pepper


Cashew Cream:

Start this in the morning of or even the day before.

Rinse cashews and put in a bowl, add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place the cashews in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

Rosemary Pesto:

Place rosemary, pine nuts, garlic {I grate mine with a zester right into the blender so I don’t have any big chunks}, and a little bit of salt in the blender. Turn it on and stream in the olive oil. Keep blending until almost smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

Sweet Potatoes:

Peel and dice, place on a foil lined {easy clean-up} pan, drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes. Stir after 10 minutes. They will become caramelized and tender.

Quinoa Risotto: {adapted from PGEW}

Carefully rinse the quinoa 2-3 times to ensure that it is completely clean and then drain well. Turn your burner to medium high add the rinsed quinoa and wine, simmer until the wine has absorbed. In another pan heat the broth so it’s ready to add. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of broth into the quinoa and allow to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed it all, stirring frequently. Continue this process, pouring in the broth only 1/2 cup at a time, until the quinoa is creamy and the quinoa germs have burst {if you have any broth left over you can save it for another use, or do as I did and have it as a snack before dinner}, about 20 minutes.

Spoon quinoa risotto evenly between 4 bowls {unless you are making this as a main dish then you would use 2}. Layer the sweet potatoes, cashew cream and pesto over the top of each serving. Stir right before eating.


Typing this out Simply Sheila seems really labor intensive, but it wasn’t that bad. I started with the cashew cream first, I actually soaked the cashews for about 4 hours, not overnight, and it worked just fine. Once I had blended them up, I transferred the cream to a small bowl and rinsed the blender and made the rosemary pesto. Next I did the sweet potatoes. While those were in the oven I started on the quinoa risotto. It came together really nicely and the finished product is this creamy, yummy dish that tastes like Fall in a cup that I could eat for every meal.