Quick & Nourishing Lunch Idea: Cheesy Veggie Quinoa

On days when we don't have any leftovers, and we're out of bread or don't feel like tuna again, I'm stumped for what to eat for lunch. I need something fast and easy that will sustain us until dinner, or at least until a mid-afternoon snack. 

This quinoa is perfect for those days. It cooks in just 15 minutes, during which you can unload the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen floor, or play with your kids. Using organic frozen vegetables means you don't have to chop or wash anything; just dump it in.

And I love having another way to get quinoa into our diet, since this pseudo-grain is higher in protein than any "real" grains out there. I choose to soak it to reduce anti-nutrients like phytic acid (even though it's not a grain, it's a seed, so it still contains phytic acid which binds to minerals and prevents our bodies from absorbing them). But don't be scared; soaking quinoa is really easy! 

If you're pantry's a little bare and you know you need something to eat for lunch tomorrow, soak some quinoa before you go to bed and lunch will come together in minutes!

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa

(Serves 2-3 for lunch)
1 c. quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve
1 T. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
filtered water to cover
1.5 c. homemade chicken stock
1/2 t. unrefined sea salt, plus more to taste
1.5 -2 c. organic frozen veggies: I used broccoli, spinach, and grated carrots (I grated & froze those myself when I had a lot of carrots to use up; they're great to throw in soups or whatever for an extra veggie punch)
spices of your choice: I sprinkled in garlic powder, ground mustard, and nutmeg
cheese: as much as looks good to you, I used about 1/2 a cup of Dubliner

  1. The night before, combine rinsed quinoa, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and filtered water to cover in a medium saucepan. Allow to soak overnight at room temperature. (a warm place is best, like in the oven with the light on or next to a warm crock pot).
  2. The next day at lunch time, drain and rinse the quinoa again, and return to the pot with the chicken stock and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook covered for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the frozen vegetables and spices, stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are done.
  5. Add grated cheese and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy your easy, delicious, filling, nutritious lunch!

This is part of: Thank Your Body Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Simple Meals Friday

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