Friday, March 16, 2012

Easy quinoa salad lunch

Everyone knows that bringing your lunch to work is way cheaper and healthier than eating out. But waking up early or taking time at night to make your lunch is a hassle. I try to make a larger batch of something on Sunday that I can bring to work all week. One of the easiest (and healthiest) things to make is quinoa salad. Quinoa is more popular in South America and was once considered the "gold of the Incas." Quinoa looks and tastes like a grain but is actually related to spinach. It is not only high in protein but also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, making it valuable for people with migraines, diabetes, and atherosclerosis (

Because it is high in protein, quinoa is great for a light but filling lunch. I use about 1/3 cup of dry quinoa for a serving. To cook it, just take 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Then, add your favorite vegetables to make the salad. I don't have a particular recipe, but for today's lunch (pictured below) I used steamed broccoli, red pepper, kelp granules, and calamata olives. I also added some salt and pepper, a tablespoon of olive oil, and juice of a lemon wedge for extra taste. You can eat this salad cold or heat it up if you used cooked vegetables. My "warm" quinoa salad has more of an italian twist with tomatoes, basil, green pepper, garlic, onions, and olives.

This isn't the most exciting lunch but its easy to make in a batch and extremely healthy. Because quinoa doesn't have a strong taste and is similar to rice, you can experiment with adding anything to it. Let me know if you come up with any fantastic recipes!


What do you think?