Jul 03 2010

In My Lunchbox

Published by at 9:12 pm under Lunch

I realized recently that I’ve written about a million posts on my dinner experiments, but almost none on my lunches. That’s, of course, because I’m always eating lunch at work — and meals just aren’t as much of a to-do when you’re enjoying them in front of a computer.

Still, I actually put a decent amount of thought and effort into the lunches I pack during the week. Nothing is more depressing than eating a PB&J when co-workers bring Indian food back into the office, and the smell of delicious curry wafts through the whole building. Also, I have a secret weapon when it comes to lunch-packing that’s been working for me for months.

It’s not rocket science. You start with a grain, add in a ton of veggies, and toss it in some cheese and dressing. But the trick is to make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and you can eat it everyday without much effort. I cook mine on Monday nights since my work provides lunch on Mondays, so I’m set for the rest of the week.

You’re probably wondering whether I get tired of these meals by the end of the week, and my honest answer is no. Sure, I’ve made a few sub-par batches that I had to suffer through on Friday, but for the most part, I look forward to every lunch. As long as you mix up the ingredients you’re using every week, this method is basically no-fail.

The example posted below is for a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, but there are plenty of ways to mix it up. For grains, I like to alternate between quinoa, couscous and millet, and the veggies are a complete matter of preference. I usually have olives, capers and sundried tomatoes on hand, so those are easy to throw in. Then I’ll buy zucchini, asparagus, spinach or squash to add as well. The vinaigrette is almost always a mixture of oil, lemon juice/vinegar, honey and spices, and goat and feta cheese are my picks for extra flavor.

Pine nuts and almond slivers also make great additions, and they’ll help keep you full ’til dinner.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (Makes 3 to 4 servings):

1.5 cups quinoa

1 medium cucumber, sliced

1 yellow pepper, sliced

1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts

1 can chickpeas

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. honey

Pepper to taste

Rinse and drain quinoa, then combine quinoa and 3 cups water in a pot. Bring to boil for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Turn off the stove and cover the pot for 5 minutes, then fluff quinoa with a fork.

In a large bowl or tupperware, mix cooked quinoa, veggies (cucumber, pepper, olives, artichokes, chickpeas and sundried tomatoes) and feta.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, honey and pepper. Drizzle dressing on the quinoa mixture and combine well. Tip: I like to put the lid on the tupperware and shake it all up!

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One Response to “In My Lunchbox”

  1. liv bites » Give It a Whirlon 26 Aug 2010 at 3:18 pm

    […] when I described my lunches comprised of quinoa and veggies and bragged that I never get tired of them? Well, I finally did, so I made some […]