I pack PB&J's and crackers & cheese for lunch much more often than I would like to admit. Even a PB&J can definitely be made the night before, so that I can just grab it from the fridge and walk out the door the next morning, but I guess the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is already begin worrying about what to eat the next day. Plus, I guess there's just something thrilling about trying to set a new record for how fast I can put together a PB&J in the morning...? but, as much as I love PB&J sandwiches, they alone are definitely not filling enough for lunch. Plus, I feel like with some effort, I can definitely come up with a more nutritious and satisfying make-ahead lunch that actually makes me feel good about eating it. So here's one recipe which makes a huge batch that will last for 3 or so lunches. There's so much flavor and texture in this dish that you won't be sick of it by the third day! It's also packed with nutrients, and is satisfying yet light, making it perfect for a mid-day meal! (Of course, it would be great for dinner as well!)
This recipe lends itself to may variations: you may use cranberries or raisins instead of currants, and almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts instead of the hazelnuts. Really, whatever ingredients you have available in the pantry and whichever flavor combination appeals the most to you!
quinoa: rich in protein; complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index; gluten-free; contains iron and lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair); rich in magnesium (relaxes blood vessels, alleviates migraines; may reduce type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control), Riboflavin (B2) (improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells), and manganese (an antioxidant)
currently listening to:
Girls' Generation- Mr. Mr. [click here for eng subbed version]
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
1 cup hazelnuts
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup dried currants
1 bunch parsley
1 gala apple
drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
prep time: 10-15 min
cook time: 20 min
adapted from darksideofthespoon, food52
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and toast the hazelnuts for about 7-12 minutes. Let them cool. Using a kitchen towel, rub the hazelnuts together vigorously to remove the skins.
2. While the hazelnuts are toasting, bring the water (with a pinch of salt) to a boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse the quinoa well, and add them to the pan. Place a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to medium, and let the quinoa cook for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa, and let it cool in the fridge.
3. Roughly chop the hazelnuts (you may also use a food processor). Dice the onion and finely chop the celery. Chop the green parts of the green onions and the parsley.
4. In a skillet, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and add the onion and the celery, along with salt and black pepper. Saute on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, just to slightly soften the onion and celery, without browning them. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl.
5. Add the currants, parsley, and green onions to the bowl and mix well.
6. Core and dice the apple. Add the apple chunks to the bowl, and drizzle the whole mixture with the juice from 1 lemon (or less if you wish-- adjust according to taste). Add the quinoa and hazelnut to the bowl as well. Drizzle some olive oil and mix well. Add more salt and pepper or lemon juice to taste.
7. Let cool complete, and wait 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry together. Enjoy!