When it comes to making lunch to take to work, I’m usually about the laziest person there is. I love taking my time making a delicious dinner or dessert, but for some reason lunch just doesn’t make the cut on my interest levels. Especially since I know it will most likely be leftovers (aka the best kind of lunch), which means I’m not often set with the task of making something for lunch from scratch.
This is where quinoa comes in. Quinoa is an extremely versatile grain that is relatively inexpensive, high in protein, and goes great in just about every lunch combination that you can think of. When I’m faced with the “what do I make for lunch” dilemma, I usually turn to my good ‘ol buddy quinoa to give me some inspiration.
After all the blackberry pie and panna cotta tarts that I’ve made over the past few weeks, I was desperately in need of something on the lighter side that could still fill me up enough that I wouldn’t be tempted to pull some leftover chamomile panna cotta Tart out of the fridge and nosh on that all day. Because frankly that is a definite possibility for me. Plus I can just tell myself that it’s mostly just Greek yogurt, right? Yeah.. it’s basically healthy… I digress. Quinoa is where it’s at when you want to eat on the lighter side but don’t want to be left starving once 3pm rolls around and you can’t go home yet.
Serves a crowd.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 5-6 stalks of celery
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- salt + pepper to taste
Kitchen Tools: medium pot, mixing bowl
Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to a boil then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Let sit for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid has absorbed. Toss into your mixing bowl and let it cool in the fridge for another 15 minutes. Coarsely chop celery stalks. Give your dried cranberries a good chopping, but not too fine. Mince up your cilantro. Shell and coarsely chop pistachios.
Once quinoa has cooled, combine all ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and some fresh cracked pepper. Voila! Lunch is served.
Tips + Tricks
*cooking the quinoa in a stock or broth is a great way to give it a tasty flavor that is light and not overpowering but will make all the difference in your dish. If you don’t have any stock on hand, just use some salted water and you’ll be good to go.
* if you want to learn more about the amazingness that is quinoa, check out this fabulous article by Well-Being Secrets.