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


  • 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

  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 🙂 )