Today I’m here to talk about lunch. Historically not my favorite meal of the day (#dinnerforthewin), but recently, I’ve been mixing up my lunch!
Since the start of summer my workload has decreased since there are no students at work. Because of this, I found myself having a bit more time to really enjoy my lunch. Normally, I’m a grazer. I pack smaller snacks and basically eat something every hour of the day. Brian and I have also had a bit more time on the weekends, too, so we decided to meal-prep some cold quinoa salads to grab for easy lunches.
Brian prefers sweeter salads (overall, not just quinoa salads), while I prefer more savory so we’ve experimented with a couple of different varieties and we’ve really enjoyed them all! They’re also so easy to make, you basically just add all the ingredients to a container, stir, chill, and serve. I usually make one giant pot of quinoa and then split it in half to make our different salads. Also, I really eyeball these salads, and rarely measure, but they’re so simple, even some variety in the amounts is sure to be yummy.
My favorite salad has:
Quinoa, about 3 cups
Whole kernel corn, one can, drained
Black beans, 1 can, rinsed and drained
Plum tomato, diced
Your favorite salsa, about 1/3 of the jar (as a light dressing)
I cook the quinoa according to the package directions, dump everything into a tupperware, stir it up and voila!
This salad is delicious, and of course, totally customizable. I like to pack half of an avocado to slice and add at work. I’ve also added a couple of scoops of this salad to chopped romaine as toppings for a more traditional salad. If you like green peppers or jalapenos – add them! Want to add more corn, beans, salsa, or tomato? Get after it!
Brian’s favorite salad has:
Quinoa, about 3 cups
Raisins, about a cup
Feta, about a cup
Spinach, one handful
Halved grapes, about 1.5 cups
Walnuts, about ½ cup, chopped
Balsamic vinaigrette, ⅓ of a cup
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions, while the quinoa wilt in the handful of spinach, add in the other ingredients, stir, chill, and serve!
Again, this is super customizable, too! Brian occasionally likes to add some cucumbers, raspberry vinaigrette, swap the raisins for dried cranberries, or add slivered almonds instead of walnuts for crunch.
These keep in the fridge for about 5 days, but you may need to add more dressing the longer you keep them.
I find that a quinoa salad at lunch is more exciting than my normal grazing routine, and it’s nice to be able to look forward to a “real meal” midday. I know I’ll go back to smaller meals and snacks once the school year is in full swing, but I’m already looking at ideas to mix that up, too! What are some of your favorite additions to a quinoa salad? Let me know if you try a version of either of these! Happy eating!