So last week I introduced you all to greenoa.™
It’s a delightful mix of greens and quinoa and you can witness the history-in-the-making creativity BRAINWAVE for yourself just here.
However, last week I served it with lemony buttery chicken and some pan-fried spring onions and while it was DELICIOUS, it’s not vegan. And the lunchbox recipes always start vegan.
So, for this week’s lunchbox post I wanted to focus on the greenoa™ alone. I stripped it down, added a few more greens (because you can never have too many greens) and then built it back up again with lemon juice and chilli flakes and all the other yummy flavour-punchy foods.
Essentially grains and greens. But better.
What’s with all the quinoa?
I know. Quinoa has become the Kim Kardashian of the food world – it’s everywhere!
It’s one of those ‘superfoods’ that’s hip and trendy and cool. And to be honest, it’s got a lot going for it:
- It’s a wholegrain, meaning we digest it a little slower, meaning it’s got a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a hefty spike in blood sugar. Basically meaning yay for quinoa.
- It’s high in protein and scores 9 out 9 when it comes to amino acids (that’s a good thing).
- It’s a naturally wheat free grain so happy tummies all round.
BUT, be warned. Too much of a good thing doesn’t make it any better for you my friends! Quinoa is great, but there are loads of other grains and pulses out there that have a big long list of health benefits too. So don’t let the quinoa tell you it’s better than anyone else.
All in moderation I say.
For example, couscous, rice, pearl barley, spelt, buckwheat, freekeh or bulgar wheat would all work well here, and in any quinoa recipe for that matter. I just chose quinoa cause I’m hip and trendy and cool…
Not really. I coined the term greenoa™.
That’s the kinda cool I’m going for!
Also, greenoa™ bonus – this lovely lunchbox recipe will also keep in the fridge for a good few days, meaning you can make it on a Tuesday evening and you’re set for the rest of the week.
Assuming you head out on a Friday lunchtime because it’s Friday and you should!
P.S Kim Kardashinoa… let’s make THAT a thing!
To the recipe!
- 100g quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 100g tenderstem broccoli, cut into smaller florets (you can use normal broccoli too)
- 2 large handfuls kale
- 50g frozen peas
- 350ml vegetable stock
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- Handful of fresh herbs – basil, parsley or chives work well
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: pinch of chilli flakes
Roasted red pepper sauce | Salsa verde | Green or red pesto
Raita | Grilled halloumi | Crumbled feta
Meat and fish options
Zesty lemon chicken | Grilled fish | Steak | Pork chops | Rack of lamb
- Pop the quinoa and stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is starting to soften.
- Add the tenderstem to the pan, without stirring, and cover with the lid to steam. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the kale, plus a little extra water if needed, and cover again. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the veg has softened and is hot through.
- Lastly, add the peas and stir the quinoa and greens together in the pan. Continue to cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Simply drain if there’s any remaining water once fully cooked.
- Add the spring onions, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parsley, chilli flakes (if using) salt and pepper and stir to combine. Adjust to taste.
- Pop in your lunchbox and top with the avocado, a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.