Keen on Quinoa

by Khushboo on September 3, 2012

As much I’d prefer for it to be the weekend, I don’t mind Mondays so much.  It’s the start of the week, and possibly the start of new intentions.  If my eating has gone slightly haywire over the weekend, it’s another opportunity to start fresh and set a healthy tone for the rest of the week.  While there are various tips to eat healthy, my biggest recommendation is to prep ahead.

One of the most common reasons why people fall short of their goals is due to lack of time & energy: when you’re tired and/or pressed for time, ordering take-out or throwing a ready meal in the microwave seems more convenient.  Cut your veggies ahead of time, make a meal plan at the start of the week, pack your lunches the night beforedo whatever it takes to streamline the process & ultimately keep you on track.

Health aside, I’ve found that batch cooking is also more time-efficient. By cooking extra portions, I only have to hover over the stove once every 3-4 meals. As a result, I’ve started eating quinoa a lot recently: when it’s right there in front of me, it’s too easy to throw it in a salad or add it as a meal accompaniment.

Miso Chickpea & Quinoa Bowl with Scrambled Eggs

Using up the last of the quinoa in the fridge, I made a delicious Miso Quinoa & Chickpea Bowl as part of lunch yesterday.  I wouldn’t share a recipe that didn’t taste good but trust me, this tasted DELICIOUS.  I urge you to try it…go on, do it for Meatless Mondays!

Miso Quinoa & Chickpea Bowl  (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 6-8 green beans, sliced
  • 5-6 broccoli florets
  • ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • Miso dressing (2 teaspoons miso paste whisked well with 8 teaspoons water)

Method

  1. In a large pan, sauté the onions until translucent.
  2. Add in the green beans and broccoli, and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the cabbage, and stir for another minute.
  3. Throw in the mushrooms and stir until mushrooms are golden and the released juices have evaporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cooked vegetables with the quinoa, chickpeas, and miso dressing.  Toss well and serve either hot or cold.

You better believe I’ve already cooked up some more quinoa for the week!

How do you stay on track when life gets busy?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex @ therunwithin September 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Prep is so key and I have started to learn that once living on my own. Looks like you have mastered it.

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Alexandra September 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Agreed– it looks like you’re the ultimate master of prep Khushboo! I’m jealoussss 😀

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Haha I wouldn’t say ultimate…at least not yet ;)!

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I agree…and it also eliminates waste!

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Sable Weisman (@SquatLikeALady) September 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Food prep is SO essential!! I love quinoa too – I haven’t had it in so long though!!

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

You are the queen of food prepping…can learn a thing or 2 from u :)!

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish September 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Oooh, this Miso Quinoa and Chickpea Bowl looks SO good! One of my goals this fall is to master the art of meal prep. Despite my best intentions, I tend to “wing” every meal, which usually means quick throw-together salads OR convenience foods like bars and protein powder shakes. A girl can only eat so many salads and shakes though! I love the idea of prepping a huge batch of quinoa, sweet potatoes etc ahead of time so that they’re ready to go for the week. 🙂 One thing I *do* have down is egg boiling. Haha. I usually boil a dozen eggs on Sunday and then again on Wednesday or Thursday. I plow through them because they’re so easy to grab on the go!

Happy Monday! xoxo <3

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Your comments also made me smile…and this one in particular spurred a craving for boiled eggs (which I just had)! That’s such a great idea to boil up a batch at the start of the week…and I’m sure they are a heck of a lot easier to peel after being cooled…I am always so impatient and start unpeeling right away, which leads to burnt fingers and an all-round mess!

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sonalii1988 September 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Prep is soo important! It is definitely the key to success! This recipe looks so good and nutritious, it is definitely going on my list with some tofu in there. 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I hope you try- it’s a keeper!

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IHeartVegetables September 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

That’s a great idea to cook batches ahead of time! I need to be better about packing my lunch for work, so making meals ahead of time would definitely make that easier!

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm

As I literally have NO options near my work to buy lunch from, I have no choice but to pack my lunches…blessing in disguise perhaps?

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Parita September 4, 2012 at 2:39 am

Meal planning makes life so much easier. By knowing what we’re going to eat when and going into the week with a plan, cooking dinner is a cinch. Cooking 2 cups of quinoa on Sunday also helps! Great idea and recipe, K!

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Agreed! Sometimes just thinking about what to make can be exhausting enough…and then there’s the whole cooking aspect of it ;)!

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Tessa@AmazingAsset September 4, 2012 at 5:36 am

I adore quinoa, so versatile and so dang healthy! Definitely a good idea to make a big batch all at once too, then you don’t have to worry!

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I hate the term “superfood” but I always feel so virtuous after eating quinoa!

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Errign September 4, 2012 at 7:22 am

I am an obsessive planner and scheduler so I make lots of lists to keep my life in order.

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Khushboo Thadani September 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

You and me both…the “Notes” section of my phone is filled with lists after lists! #OCD

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sprint2thetable September 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

With my insane 7 meal a day plan prepping ahead of time is a MUST.

To stay in track in life and in my meal plan, I use calendars, to-do lists, and Excel. By writing out my “menu” for the week in Excel, I save time and waste less.

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

I bet you save money too! As time-consuming as meal planning can be, it really saves SO much time later on in the week!

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forgottenbeast September 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Yes! I’ve been looking forward to this recipe since you put the pics on IG ;D I love making huge batches of quinoa/lentils/etc. at the beginning of the week, then I can make super easy salads, soups, stir-fries throughout the rest of the week and meals will only take minutes!

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

I hope you enjoy it!! 🙂

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Pooja September 5, 2012 at 12:28 am

Ha, your blog caught our eye–we’re a high end women’s site and one of the few retailers of organic quinoa online in India…would love to feature you as a tastemaker on our new blog, to talk about your love for quinoa: contact us at customerservice@conciergein.com if you’re interested 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

Hey Pooja- thanks for your comment…will definitely drop you an email!

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ko0ty September 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

Mmm this sounds delicious! I batch cook too especially with quinoa and yams so I can eat them throughout the week.

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

Good call on the yams! I went through a phase of being obsessed with squash…and would make a huge batch every few days!

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caloricandcrazy September 5, 2012 at 12:53 am

I love quinoa! It tastes delicious with chickpeas and in a salad and all. I even tried it as a substitute for oatmeal once—pretty good :D!

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

I keep meaning to try it in a sweet form for breakfast….if only I didn’t enjoy my oats so much hehe!

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Corrie Anne September 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

YES! To the batch cooking. And a few easy go-to meals!! That’s what works for me.

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Khushboo Thadani September 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

Eggs are my ultimate go-to meal…always save the day!

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Jess September 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I love Quinoa And Chickpeas, so I’m going to love this recipe. I am terrible about prepping ahead. I know it woukd make my life so much easier, but I can’t do it!

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Khushboo Thadani September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I’m loving both lately too, especially chickpeas!

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shrinkontherun September 7, 2012 at 7:41 am

Ooh this looks great! I randomly found your blog and it’s amazing how much you have accomplished!
And agree – prep is key, I don’t get anything done rushing around like a maniac in the mornings.

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Khushboo Thadani September 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks SO much, Faiza…hope you continue reading 🙂

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Ansuya March 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm

This looks so yum!! Gonna try it soon. Can never get quinoa quite right though! Always over/under cooked! Any tips?

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Khushboo March 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

Making quinoa used to be so hit & miss for me too! Always do an equal 1:2 ratio of quinoa:water (e.g. 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa)! Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer…while it simmers, put a lid on the pot and the water should get absorbed within 10-12 minutes! Hope that helps :)!

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