Greens & Grains Power Lunch
All of the ingredients for this Greens & Grains Power Lunch can be prepped at the start of the week, and you’re all set for easy, healthful and delicious meals for days to come! Naturally gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
Alternate title for this post: “What We’re REALLY Eating For Lunch.” This is the lunch my husband and I are eating for at least a few weeks every month. We prep all the of the ingredients on Sunday and eat this for lunch all week. Seriously, if you go to Jeff’s office right now and look in his lunch pail, this will be in there. If you come to my house at lunch time (I work from home), I’ll also be munching on a Greens & Grains Power Lunch.
We both love the combination of flavors and how it gives us energy to get through the work day. If a quinoa salad bowl can actually be craveable (it can!), this one is. Let me walk you through it.
- Greens – We always have organicgirl greens on hand, forever and ever. Call us Popeyes-in-training, because we eat a ridiculous amount of greens each week, whether they’re in smoothies, sandwiches, salads, sautéed as a side dish, or stirred into pastas or soups. For our Greens & Grains Power Lunch, we prefer arugula or baby spinach, but whatever organicgirl green you like best is what you should use.
- Grains – We almost always use quinoa, but if you have farro or freekeh or any other random whole grain on hand, that will work! To cook the best, fluffiest quinoa, I refer to this guide every. single. time. I suppose I could memorize it so I don’t have to search for it every time I want to make quinoa, but life’s too short to memorize quinoa cooking instructions. I’ve summarized the guide for you in the recipe below.
- Nuts – chopped pecans or walnuts. Or whatever. Add some nuts.
- Apple – But cut apples get brown quickly, don’t they? I have a secret, and it’s called Fruit Fresh. I originally purchased this as a food styling tool (goodbye, brown avocados!), but then I discovered it’s uses for everyday life. Because it’s made to be used in canning and preserving, it’s 100% safe to eat. Simply make a solution of Fruit Fresh diluted in some water, and then dip your apple pieces in the solution briefly, as soon as you cut them. Cut apples will stay fresh for days on end. It’s amazing!
- Dried Cherries – or cranberries. The tart bite of the dried fruit is a must.
- Sweet Potatoes – Peel a few sweet potatoes, cut them into cubes, toss with olive oil and s+p, roast until tender. Done and done.
- Condiment Situation – In my opinion, this bowl doesn’t necessarily *need* a classic salad dressing. The sweet potatoes and apples are both pretty “juicy,” so even without dressing, it’s not too dry. BUT, adding a little something something is never frowned upon. Here’s some options for you, and I’ve road-tested all of these:
- Hummus <—- easiest
- Hummus thinned with water to make it more dressing-like
- Tahini thinned with lemon juice
- Maple-Tahini Dressing <—- personal fav
- Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Citrus Salad Dressing
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Greens & Grains Power Lunch
All of the ingredients for this Greens & Grains Power Lunch can be prepped at the start of the week, and you're all set for easy, healthful and delicious meals for days to come! Naturally gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 packages (5 ounces each) organicgirl baby spinach
- 2 apples, matchstick cut
- 2 cups hummus
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Make the sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes; cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss until well combined. Transfer to oven and roast 18 to 22 minutes or until tender, turning once.
- Meanwhile, make the quinoa: Place quinoa in fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for about a minute. Rub the quinoa grains in your hand while rinsing. Drain well.
- In medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; heat to rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to lowest setting; cover pan and let quinoa cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat (leave lid on); let stand 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork.
- To make each serving of this Greens & Grains Power Lunch, place a few large handfuls of spinach in a bowl. Top with about 1/4 cup apple, 1/4 cup hummus, 2 tablespoons pecans, 2 tablespoons cherries, about 1/2 cup sweet potato and 1/4 cup quinoa.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of organicgirl. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.
I like the sound of this bowl, but would probably need more protein. One thing I would do is use kamut, because it is a little higher in protein than quinoa (and tastes better to me). Maybe adding some tofu? I would tend to use whole garbanzos in place of the hummus. I have always liked hummus but I guess I like the texture of the whole beans in the bowl over hummus. The maple-tahini dressing sounds perfect.
Interesting, Susan. I haven’t cooked with (or even eaten) kamut before. Once I get through the rest of this jar of quinoa (almost!), I’ll give it a try. I like the tofu idea for added protein, too. Hope you’re having a great summer!