Lemon Herb Quinoa with Hemp Seeds, Spring Peas, and Basil

By • June 27, 2012 22 Comments

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Author Notes: This dish shows off hemp seeds and quinoa -- two sources of complete protein. Both of these ingredients are sort of famous for being "hippie foods," but as you'll see, they're both perfectly accessible and delicious, especially when paired with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Feel free to substitute the basil for dill, oregano, or another herb of choice; no matter what, they result will be a tasty, satisfying, and simple meatless meal!Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4

  • 1 cup Quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups Water, cold
  • 1 cup Green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Shelled hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt (plus a little extra)
  • 1 dash Black pepper
  1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer with cold water. Transfer to a pot and add the 2 cups cold water and a nice pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and leave the lid of the pot slightly ajar while cooking. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is plump, the water is absorbed, and you see the tiny little outer “shells” of the quinoa grain coming loose in the pot.
  3. Remove quinoa from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, boil fresh or frozen peas till warm and tender. Drain and set aside.
  5. Mix quinoa, peas, basil, and hemp seeds in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Pour over the quinoa salad mixture, and serve warm or cold. Dish will keep excellently (though the basil might turn a little dark) in the fridge for 2-3 days.

More Great Recipes: Quinoa|Rice & Grains|Appetizers|Entrees|Salads

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Comments (22) Questions (1)


2 days ago Nancy O'Leary

I also used red quinoa, substituted almonds for the hemp seeds, added garlic to the dressing and crumbled creamy sheep's milk feta and extra basil on top. Also delicious with mint. Great make ahead recipe!!


about 1 month ago Kaite

I could drink the dressing from this recipe it is that good! The great thing about this recipe is how quick it is as well as how easy it is to substitute ingredients. I didn't have peas so I used green beans. I blanched them and then cut them to about pea size. I also didn't have hemp seeds so I just threw in some pine nuts and chopped up some almonds. Lastly, when I served myself I added some cheese to mine. I used what I had on hand, cotija, and the saltiness played really well with everything. Although, I imagine feta or goat cheese would be more appropriate.


about 1 year ago koc

Delicious! Plus it's so quick and easy to put together. I didn't have any peas so I used edamame instead and just added them to the quinoa during the 5 minutes resting stage. Also added toasted pine nuts. Thanks!


over 1 year ago isabel

I've made this a couple of times and it's been so handy to have on hand, especially since I was getting a bit bored with quinoa. When I cook the quinoa I always throw a whole garlic clove in, too, so that I can add it to the Dijon mustard dressing. I crush it against the side of the bowl and just stir it right in... works really well for me. I also forgo the hemp seeds and add chopped, roasted hazelnuts instead. Yesssssss


about 2 years ago Francine Weistrop

Just bought hemp seed at the recommendation of a friend and was looking for a way to use it. Lo and behold, there it was! I will make it for dinner tomorrow, serving it as a side to salmon. Thanks for the recipe.


about 2 years ago Hello.IamPhat

This dish is DE-LISH! I made this over the past weekend and WOW! It's luv in a dish <3. {I made the following changes:: added a little shrimp and omitted the sea salt.}


about 2 years ago Tashipluto

Made this last night and subbed asparagus cut up small and blanched in place of the peas. Also used toasted pine nuts. Really good.


over 2 years ago Lee Anh

Beyond delish. I cook this so often that I may need an intervention. I much prefer toasted pine nuts to hemp seeds, and I cube in a block of silken tofu at the end for added unctiosness. Is that even a word? Yummy yumness.


over 2 years ago Sarah Elliott

Loved this! I used red quinoa, left out the hemp seeds and added pine nuts and chopped (sautéed) portabella mushrooms...delightful :)


over 2 years ago Kaja1105

I've made this a couple of times recently, and it is a mild-tasting but delicious dish that one of my friends aptly described as a comfort food. Even so, there is something slightly addictive about it. (Perhaps it's those hemp seeds?) I was able to find fresh peas at the farmers market, and even with the extra time it took to shell them, the dish came together quickly.


over 2 years ago walrusgumbo

amazing combo. i added the peas (fresh) to the same pot as the quinoa during the last 5 minutes off heat at the end of the cooking process (to save a step). i subbed toasted pepitas for hemp seeds. while the mixture was still warm i snacked on it with slices of gouda goat cheese. wow - they pair well! for dinner i paired the dish with crispy juicy slow cooked pork loin with a sweet & spicy roasted pepper sauce + a spanish syrah to drink.


over 2 years ago glammie

What do the hemp seeds add? Crunch? Flavou? Could I use pumpkin or sunflower seeds or pine nuts instead? Toasted almonds or pecans? I don't see myself using hemp seeds again ... would prefer not to have to buy them.


over 2 years ago Shiyam Sundar

Thats Dinner tonight. Great Idea. Thank you


over 2 years ago aqua elephant

I make this almost every week for lunches to take to work and I never get sick of it. It is so delicious and I don't feel guilty eating a giant bowl of it.


about 3 years ago thefroggirloz

This was so tasty! Thanks so much for posting it, I'd been wondering what to do with the quinoa in my cupboard! I used a quinoa & amaranth mix as that was what I had.. Also used black chia seed as I can't get hemp seed. And agave as I didn't have maple syrup... But it's so tasty & refreshing, I'm excited to see your future recipe posts! :)


about 3 years ago db7

I'm so excited that you'll be posting recipes regularly. This is exactly the type of simple, light and delicious meals/sides I've been looking for. Thank you!


about 3 years ago raw

Beautiful! I didn't put in the maple syrup because it is simply not an ingredient we use. Instead, I added one half cup of sweet corn niblets. It was a big hit at the 4th of July party!


about 3 years ago Gena Hamshaw

So glad that you enjoyed it so much!!!


about 3 years ago Mmdisibio

Delicious! Loved this - did not have maple syrup so used agave in place.. Still delish! Thank you


about 3 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Thank you so much! I'm delighted that you enjoyed it.