Quick Quinoa Lunch

June 7, 2011

The other day I found myself scrounging for ingredients to make lunch at home (clearly I hadn’t planned my food shopping very well!). I didn’t have any lettuce to make a regular salad and I didn’t have any sandwich toppings, but I did have some vegetables, canned beans, and a whole bunch of grains in the pantry.

As you probably know by now, I love quinoa (and if you didn’t know, just check out some of my previous quinoa posts). I especially love how quickly it can be cooked up, which is perfect for a last-minute lunch dish. I ended up with a balanced, satisfying, and delicious lunch that took less than 20 minutes to make (ok – maybe this is longer than it takes to make most lunches, but it was so easy and the active time was only five minutes!).

Vegetable and Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • 4-5 roasted asparagus, chopped
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 can no-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

quinoa salad recipe
Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions in water or broth. When fully cooked (water is completely absorbed), rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  2. When quinoa is at room temperature, add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Divide between two bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 400 calories, 14 g protein, 55 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 14 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 284 mg sodium

What do you make for lunch when you’re home?

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  1. I do a lot of freezer leftovers for lunch, if I’m being honest 😉 Examples: right now I am on my last serving of individually portioned Spanikopita that I made a few weeks back, I have about (6) servings of Cream of Broccoli soup I made/frozen from leftover broccoli & a freezer full of pre-cooked pasta that often I will thaw, toss with fresh veggies & pesto… plus a sprinkling of cheese.

    (I used to be a peanut butter & banana sandwich gal for lunch… but that got old quickly and was a tad low on the veggie quotient 😉

    1. Mmmm…those all sound so good! I love leftovers from the freezer – nothing to be ashamed of! It’s actually something I recommend to my clients – make big batches of food and freeze them in individual portion sizes for easy meals. Oh, and nothing wrong with a PB&B sandwich!! (I have some spanikopita in my freezer too – thanks for the reminder 🙂 )