We’re kicking off our April theme of Meal Preparation with a basic lunch recipe that you can make on the weekend and eat for the rest of the week: a Quinoa Lentil Bowl that combines whole grains, legumes and spices to create a balanced, gluten-free and vegan meal that’s easy to prepare in advance. If you prepare a standard meal on the weekend you can save a lot of time making lunch during the week, but since you’re not getting as much variety as if you were to eat a different meal every day it’s important to make sure the meal you choose is balanced and healthy. In this one recipe you are getting all the basics of a healthy, balanced diet:
- Grain (quinoa)
- Legume (lentils)
- Vegetable (carrots)
- Healthy fat (coconut oil)
- Spices (turmeric & curry)
The combination of ingredients is a complete source of protein, high in fiber, easy to make and costs less than $1 per serving (yes, I actually created a spreadsheet to calculate that). Does it get better?
Start by chopping the onion into small pieces. Melt coconut oil in a good-sized pot with a lid, then add chopped onion and sautée over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.
Remove the pot from the element, or turn the heat down, then add the spices and mix them together well so the onion is coated. Adding the spices to the onions before the water means that you won’t have to spend time getting lumps of curry and turmeric to dissolve into the water properly – always a bonus in my opinion.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir, then cover and turn the heat up all the way to the maximum until the water boils. The canned coconut milk makes it creamier but is totally optional – often we make it with just water and save the coconut milk for a treat.
Once the mixture has reached a boil, turn it all the way down (our stove has a “simmer” setting that is perfect) and leave the pot covered for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the water has been absorbed.
You can eat this right away, but we usually serve it up in microwaveable glass containers so we can just grab one in the morning, add some snacks and veggies and have lunch ready to go. If you’re going to be putting the containers in the fridge, try to let the contents cool a little before putting the lids on so you don’t get as much condensation.
We also make Spiced Lentil Muffins for breakfast, and Power Chia Pudding (recipe to be posted shortly) along with fresh fruits and veggies for snacks, meaning that we usually have breakfast and lunch made for the whole week!
(And of course all the containers match, because we’re both slightly neurotic.)
We’ll be posting more recipes and tips on meal preparation this month, so stay tuned! Until then…enjoy.
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1½ cup water
- ½ cup coconut milk (or more water)
- 1 cup green lentils
- ½ cup quinoa
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Chop the onion and sautée with coconut oil on medium-low heat until translucent.
- Turn down or remove from heat then add the curry powder and turmeric, stirring to coat the onions. Add the remaining ingredients and stir, then bring to a boil.
- Cover and turn heat down all the way. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
(Without coconut milk: 245 cal, 3.2g fat)
Want even more vegan love? Head over to Hello Veggy for Healthy Vegan Fridays!