I know a lot of you like to see what I pull together for a quick lunch when I'm working at the Quitokeeto studio. I spent a good amount of time there last week, and this lunch was a winner, something I'd definitely make again, and one that checks a lot of boxes - interesting, seasonal, filling, and nutritious. I tend to keep a range of cooked beans and grains on hand, and that is one little trick that makes something like this easy to pull together. I cook them on the weekends, in big batches, and then keep an amount I think we might eat in the refrigerator. I freeze the the rest (after allowing it to cool completely). This way I always have cooked quinoa, barley, brown rice, mung beans, and the like just a quick thaw away. Enter this lunch bowl. You can make it simple, or flared it out with as many toppings as you like (as pictured). The base is simply mung beans and quinoa topped lots of flavors and textures, but I'd argue, the magic comes from the deeply sautéed and spiced celery. The celery brings an incredible amount of flavor and depth to the rest of the dish, and welcomes all sorts of other toppings - roasted cherry tomatoes, salted dill yogurt, quick pickled red onions, chopped olives...or you can keep it more simple than that. Either way it's filling and nourishing, just right for tackling busy afternoons. This is a late summer recipe, but I imagine an autumn version with roasted delicata squash and kale or herb jam would be great a few weeks from now.
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