Lunching at Home

Working from home has its benefits, but it has its shortcomings, too. One of those is the lack of impromptu food choices. I really miss having a cafeteria. I miss grabbing a few coworkers*, strolling downstairs to the cafeteria, browsing the offerings, and choosing whatever was appealing at that very moment. Of course, what seemed appealing was usually something crappy like fried rice or a burger. But still, choices are nice.
At home, I don’t have those choices. On the positive side, if I wait too long to eat, I can’t give into my cravings and have a slice of greasy pizza. But on the negative side, if I don’t plan in advance and have good lunch options available, I often find myself having cereal or a bagel and cheese sandwich for lunch. Food coma ensues.
So, in addition to planning family dinners, I’ve also been trying to have good lunch options available every day. Sometimes that will be leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. That’s okay, but I like to have those leftovers available for nights I don’t want to cook. Occasionally I’ll have a sandwich, but I don’t really like eating deli meat too often. So, I’ve been trying to find some things I can prepare in bulk and eat for lunch a couple of times.
Last week, I made Quinoa and Garbanzo Bean Salad, from the UltraMind Solution Guide.  It was delicious, filling, and full of protein to overcome the afternoon slump. Here is the recipe copied from the UltraMind Solution Guide. One day I ate it by itself. The next day I ate it on a bed of lettuce. The last day, I cut up half an avocado on top and drizzled it with bleu cheese dressing. Wonder what the fat content of that lunch was!!!
(Note: This picture is from a similar recipe on Photographer is “Tracy’s Kitchen”. Next time I make this salad, I will replace this with my own photo!)
Quinoa and Garbanzo Bean Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Light, refreshing, and delicious, this is a perfect vegetarian entrée for a warm afternoon. It is
best made ahead to let the flavors blend. The quinoa can also be cooked in a rice cooker.
  • 1½ c. water
  • ¾ c. quinoa
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. diced poblano pepper
  • ½ c. (approx. 3) sliced green onions or scallions
  • ¾ c. chickpeas, canned
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and stir. Turn down heat to low. Cover. Simmer covered
25–30 minutes, until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Cool cooked quinoa. (Editor’s note: If you purchase packaged quinoa, follow the directions on the package. Also, I rinse my quinoa before cooking)
Drain canned chickpeas and rinse.
Heat oil in a medium skillet. Sauté onion and pepper over medium heat for 2 to 5 minutes
or until onion is slightly soft.
In a large bowl, mix thoroughly onion-pepper mixture, green onions, cooked quinoa, and
Dressing: In a small bowl, add lemon juice, chili powder, oregano, parsley, and salt.
Slowly whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over quinoa-chickpea mixture. Gently mix until
dressing thoroughly covers all the salad.
Nutritional Analysis:
Per Serving: Calories 227, Fat 9 g, Sat. 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrates
31 g, Sodium 47 mg
Leave Comments!
  • What is your favorite quinoa recipe?
  • What suggestions do you have for lunches, especially something I can make and enjoy for several days?
*The loneliness of working from home is a topic for another day…
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5 Responses to Lunching at Home

  1. J.D. Falk says:

    Sounds tasty! I'll have to try it.I've also been in the habit of making intentional leftovers; it started when I was working in an office, with very few quick, close lunch options (you know the one.)The recipes vary, but often it's something like:1. heat a couple tablespoons of oil or ghee in a Dutch oven2. add more than a teaspoon (each) of whole cumin seeds and whole fennel seeds, maybe also some crushed red chile flakes3. after they start to splutter, add a diced onion or two & stir it all4. maybe also add celery and/or carrots, about half to 2/3 as much as the onion5. once the onion becomes translucent, toss in a tablespoon of turmeric powder (yes, that's a lot, but it's good for 'ya) and maybe half a teaspoon of asafoetida (aka hing — any Indian grocery will have it)6. stir, and let it cook for a minute or two7. pour in 2-3 cups of broth — I like turkey or chicken, but veggie works too — and stir8. add a cup of rice or quinoa and some protein (pre-soaked beans, bite-sized hunks of chicken or sausage, whatever's around), and stir some more9. put a whole bunch of dark leafy greens on top: spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, whatever you have around. DON'T stir yet.10. cover and simmer (not a fast boil) for about 15 minutes11. stir, re-cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes12. remove the lid, stir again, and let it simmer until most of the broth has been soaked up or evaporatedThen I let it cool for a while, and ladle it into single-serving-ish containers.Variations of different meats or veggies are the easiest, but I also vary the spices — mostly just 'cause I can.(Kids may not eat this due to extreme healthful content.)

  2. Bethy___Boo says:

    oh that looks VERY yum! I'm going to make this very soon!

  3. Christine says:

    J.D., I know you like sardines, and I keep meaning to ask you for sardines recipes. Maybe I'll start a new post for that! Thanks for the recipe suggestion. It's very intimidating, but I have been looking for ways to eat kale, chard, mustard greens, etc. I'm going to have to try it.Bethy, it's delicious. I threw some garlic in there. Everything is better with garlic.

  4. Pingback: Q1 2011 Performance Review | Merf In Progress

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