So we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year, which is the time everyone resolves to eat better, get fit, improve their relationships and financial situations, and find an occupation with purpose.
Not one for resolutions myself, I am fond of the clean slate idea. A new year for a more intentional way of living. For me, while I do well feeding my family and friends – I even named my own website to that end – I find it more difficult to take care of myself.
I am more than capable of packing up four separate lunches for the kids and sending them out the door, but when it comes to tearing myself away from work and my to-do list at lunchtime, I am prone to simple snacking or skipping it altogether. It’s almost as if I associate the care and feeding of myself as a social activity best done with others.
Photo by Shaina Olmanson | FoodforMyFamily.com
Unfortunately for my family, hunger makes me irritable. I know I’m a better wife and mother when I take better care of myself, and so this year I am working on being more intentional with my lunchtime habits. No more handfuls of nuts and berries eaten in front of the computer screen with a cup of tea or a piece of whatever baked good might be sitting on the counter leftover from something else. (Not that there is anything wrong with those things. I just rely on them far too frequently.)
Instead, I’m going to attempt to actually get up and make myself a proper meal more often. Starting with this one.
My favorite part about this dish is that it can be made with simple things I have in my pantry and refrigerator. There’s no special planning that goes into it. The Brussels sprouts are just a handful, pulled out from the family dinner stores, and they can easily be replaced with other greens or vegetables that you may have on hand. I think kale would be particularly nice here.
The preserved lemons add a bit of brightness to this dish, contrasting with the nuttiness of the quinoa and the earthy flavors of the Brussels. Topped off with a bit of creamy goat cheese, this is definitely a lunch worth taking a break for.
|Preserved Lemon Quinoa with Shaved Brussels, Toasted Walnuts|| || |
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup walnuts, halved
- 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 preserved lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 generous tablespoon goat cheese
- In a small saucepan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the quinoa and stir to coat. Toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Once the water and quinoa is boiling, clover, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes. When the time is up, remove the pan from the heat but leave the cover on.
- In a small saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add in the walnuts and toast lightly. Add the Brussels sprouts and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- While the Brussels are cooking, remove the seeds from the preserved lemon. Scrape the insides from the rinds. Thinly chop the rinds and add them to the Brussels sprouts. Take the pulp and chop it finely. Stir the pulp, cumin, and the cayenne into the quinoa.
- Season the Brussels sprouts with the salt and stir them into the quinoa. Plate. Dot with small bits of goat cheese and enjoy.
Are you good at lunch? What do you fix for yourself?