This past week, I went back to school. So far, my school lunches have been successful; avocado toasts, salads with fresh veggies, quinoa salads, and leftovers. In the past, my mom has made my lunches every morning before I went off (thanks, mom!). But on Friday, we had a conundrum that resulted in my ten minute lunch. I assumed my mom was going to make my lunch Friday morning. It wasn’t until 7:35am when I noticed that I still didn’t have a lunch prepared and had to go to school in 10 minutes. I ran to the kitchen, opened the fridge and grabbed my ingredients. In 10 minutes, my lunch was made: Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad, fruit, avocado toast, and a granola bar. I made it to school on time, with lots of time to spare.I was able to make this salad in under 10 minutes because I had cooked quinoa. I recommend storing cooked quinoa in the fridge for any grab and go lunches to avoid any fiascos. The same goes with lentils; prepare them in advance and toss them into a salad for a Lentil Salad. Both lentil and quinoa salads can be prepared in advance and you can then store it in the fridge, dressing on the side. School lunches are super important to me because I don’t want to eat food from the cafeteria (it does not look or smell fresh). I like salads for my lunch and this fast salad can be a lifesaver when in a time crunch.
Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- small handful of parsley, stems cut off and leaves roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Place the quinoa, measured out water, and a teaspoon of salt into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil,4-5 minutes. Once boiling, turn down the heat and cover. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, until most (if not all) of the water has absorbed. If 1-2 tablespoons remain, turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes, until all water is absorbed. If all water is absorbed after 15 minutes, remove from heat and let it cool.
Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool and come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, begin to make the dressing. In a small down, whisk together the dijon mustard and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Continue whisking until now homogenous mixture is created. Season with salt and pepper.
When the quinoa is cooled, place in a large bowl. Mix in the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and parsley. Drizzle the dressing over top and mix until everything is coated; not all the dressing may be necessary. Season with salt and pepper.