Quinoa for Lunch

Ever wondered if you could pack a light, vibrant and delicious meal where you looked forward to your lunch time? This was exactly the request my niece Manisha gave me, saying she had bought quinoa but wasn’t quite sure how to use it for her lunch. Well, Manisha this is for you and every one of my readers who faces a similar challenge!

I have designed two very simple and easy recipes to spice up your lunch break. I usually cook quinoa ahead and keep it in the fridge and this allows me to add it to any dish that I am making, including my porridge! For those who are new to making quinoa, when you boil one cup of raw quinoa in water as per instruction on the packet it results in almost 4 cups of cooked quinoa. You know it is cooked when you see little ‘tails’ on each grain.

The first recipe uses Portobello mushrooms, red peppers, carrots and shallots lightly spiced with turmeric powder and cumin seeds in coconut oil.

Diced Portobello mushrooms, red peppers, carrots and shallots
Lightly spiced vegetable quinoa with a squeeze of lime

The second recipe uses spring onions, red pepper and sweetcorn, with olive oil to temper the sesame seeds that are added at the beginning.

Spring onion, red pepper and sweetcorn
Spring onion and sweetcorn quinoa

Both recipes are lightly spiced with minced ginger and green chilli and finished off with chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime to add a lovely zing!

Feel free to swap ingredients and herbs as you like and do not feel limited by the ingredients you have at hand. Have a go and enjoy the result …lunches just got better!

 

 

3 from 1 vote
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Portobello Mushroom, Carrot and Cumin Quinoa

A lightly spiced vegetable quinoa that makes a perfect lunch!

Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Gluten Free, Healthy, Indian, Vegetarian, Wholesome
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Author Hema (thewholesomeway.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium Portobello mushrooms or 1 large one
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh green chilli
  • 1/2 fresh lime juice
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables by peeling if needed and dicing them.

  2. Place a pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once it has melted add the cumin seeds and allow to become golden and fragrant.

  3. Add the diced shallots, red pepper and carrot to the pan. Stir and then add the minced ginger, green chilli, ground turmeric, salt. Mix and allow to cook gently for a few minutes.

  4. Add the diced Portobello mushrooms, stir and allow to cook for another few minutes. 

  5. Now add the cooked quinoa and give the whole mixture a gentle but thorough stir to allow the quinoa to take on all the flavours and the vegetables to be evenly distributed. 

  6. Squeeze the juice of half of a fresh lime and sprinkle the chopped coriander.

  7. Allow to cool before packing it for your lunch!

Recipe Notes

Cook the cumin seeds gently and do not allow to darken too much as they can burn very easily and spoil the flavour. 

 

 

3 from 1 vote
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Spring Onion and Sweetcorn Quinoa

Lightly spiced quinoa that is beautifully enhanced by spring onions, sweetcorn and red peppers, flavoured with sesame seeds making a lunch to look forward to!

Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Gluten Free, Healthy, Indian, Vegetarian, Wholesome
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Hema (thewholesomeway.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 2 medium spring onions
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn frozen, fresh or canned
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh green chilli

Instructions

  1. Chop the spring onions and dice the red pepper. 

  2. Warm the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add the sesame seeds till they turn golden or pop.

  3. Add the diced pepper, spring onion and fresh or frozen sweetcorn if using, with the salt, turmeric, minced ginger and chilli. 

  4. Stir the mixture and cook for a few minutes. 

  5. If you are using canned sweetcorn, add it now and squeeze in the fresh lime juice with the chopped coriander. Stir and take off the heat. 

  6. Enjoy warm or allow to cool before packing it for your lunch!

4 Replies to “Quinoa for Lunch”

  1. That looks delicious Hema! I’m really getting the taste for quinoa now. Like you, I make a bigger amount and store it in the fridge. I like adding quinoa to stir frys and I discovered last week that it works well in a vegetable stew too!

    1. Hi Tina P, good to hear you enjoy quinoa too and the usefulness of making more for the fridge! I haven’t tried it in stir fries or stew but will definitely give it a go, thank you for these ideas!

  2. That looks yummy!!!! and I am going to try quinoa as I have never tried it before.

    1. That’s great to hear Mita, hope you enjoy it!

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