Quinoa for days

I used quinoa for my grain this week.  I selected it solely because I had some in the pantry.  Usually I keep quinoa and rice (white, brown, or basmati) on hand, but have recently tried out farro and enjoyed it.  Having quinoa available in the fridge was a helpful shortcut to get lunches prepared for the week.  I even tried it out for breakfast.  I’m going to try and keep this tip in mind.  Lunches tend to be the last meal I want to plan yet need to have something readily available if I want to avoid buying lunches out.  Leftovers can work, but sometimes those get boring.  I noticed I found a handful of recipes or methods to use with my quinoa this week and could use this practice in the future.

The evening I made the batch of quinoa, I was going to use it for a casserole or gratin, but instead kept it simple and just made a grain bowl with other veggies.  I roasted brussels sprouts (bought a bagged of shredded bsprouts at Trader Joes—huge time saver) that same evening to have on salads and decided to include it in my grain bowl along with sautéed onions, cauliflower rice (another TJs shortcut), and peas.

img_3541-1I topped the bowl with a bit of soy sauce and Sriracha and it was delicious! img_3542

Since we were challenged to use grains at breakfast, I tried it out.  A few weeks ago I saw a food blogger post the recipe Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa (http://cookieandkate.com/2017/cinnamon-breakfast-quinoa-recipe/).  This isn’t normally a recipe I would consider making as quinoa isn’t something I think about for breakfast, but since the homework encouraged it, I tried it out.  It tasted fine, but I likely wouldn’t make it again.  I prefer an oatmeal if I’m going to have a cooked grain for breakfast.  And I wouldn’t say it tasted like cinnamon toast; more just like cinnamon on quinoa.

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With the leftover quinoa, I made a salad using quinoa.  I used this recipe as a guide, but made some changes: http://pinchofyum.com/spring-quinoa-salad-honey-lemon-vinaigrette.  I made the dressing and fried up bacon the night before so I would have that readily available.  Since I had the roasted brussels sprouts on hand, I added those too (I didn’t have cilantro or basil).  And I already toasted pecans for my breakfast quinoa so I used those instead of almonds.  I thought it was a great lunch option and super easy to put together in the morning; especially if you make the dressing the night before to have on hand.  I also think it would taste more fresh if you added herbs or mixed greens.  But without those it tasted good too.  I think I found a new lunch method!  Yay!  I made 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and after several meals, I still have leftovers so if you don’t mind having 1 grain for multiple meals, this is a fast and economical meal plan.

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