Summer is here. Texas never is late with summer. I wanted to share this recipe with you as a quick, inexpensive, balanced lunch you can prep to have ready. I love having some sort of cold salad that I can prep ahead of time in the summer, and for me, the more lemon the better!
What I Look For In Lunch Preps
- It needs to be easy with simple ingredients.
- I need to be able to make it in 30 minutes or less.
- It has to keep in the fridge for 4 days.
- It has to be balanced nutritionally since this is a meal, and personally one of the most important to have balanced. Although it’s mainly important for your day to collectively be balanced.
Think about it, lunch is what keeps you going during the day. It’s something that needs to be enjoyable and satisfying. It shouldn’t weigh you down, but should keep your momentum going. For that to happen, it has to be balanced in protein, healthy carbs, and fats, and easily digestible and converted into energy that’s sustaining. That’s not to say you still won’t get the mid-afternoon yawns. That can be a time to unplug, have a snack if you need to, and take a mental break before heading into the evening.
Throughout the day you want a healthy balance of your macro-nutrients. And having meals that also have this balance is a good way to ensure you are getting what you need.
- 45-65% of your food should be from carbohydrates
- 20-35% from healthy fats
- 10-35% from protein
This recipe’s balance is as follows:
- 48% carbohydrates
- 33% fats
- 19% protein
Balanced and ready to satisfy! Ready for the recipe?
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lentils & Feta
- 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/2 cup green lentils, dry
- 2 3/4 – 3 cups water
- 1 cup green onions, or about 5 green onions sliced
- 1 cup fresh mint, minced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1 hot house cucumber, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 cup low fat feta crumbles
- Salt and Pepper, if desired
- Pita bread or crackers
- In a medium sauce pan, add quinoa, lentils and water. You can substitute some water for broth if you have it. And yes, you can cook green lentils with quinoa in the same pot! Let it get to a boil, and then reduce heat so that it is a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all your chopped vegetables and fresh herbs and mix together.
- Make the simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing by whisking together until it’s combined and creamy. Should only take a minute or two.
- Once the lentils and quinoa are done cooking, take off of heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add them to the bowl of fresh ingredients.
- Add feta and dressing and mix together. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve or save for later. Eat with pita bread, crackers, etc. if you want.
I usually eat this with crackers. If you are using it for meal prep, the lemon is strong the first day, but after it has set for a day or so it calms down. You can always add more lemon to it if you want.
Enjoy! And as always, if you try the recipe, let me know how it turns out. : )