Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lunch Box: Lentil-Quinoa Yoga Bowl

I've been making an effort to prep one lunch ahead of time on the weekends for my fiance and I to take to work during the week.  This yam-and-eggplant stew was a recent tasty lunch, and I figured I'd make this a semi-regular feature on the blog in case anyone else out there is looking for prep-ahead lunches that are a little more exciting than PB&J.  So, next up is this lentil-quinoa "yoga bowl."  The base of lentils and quinoa provides protein, cashews add crunch, and a tangy spinach-yogurt sauce makes the dish extra yummy.  I'm not going to lie -- after a day or two in the fridge, this is not the prettiest dish in the world.  But, give it a chance because the flavors are fantastic!

Word of warning: the portion size here is definitely for someone on a diet (or someone with a small appetite). Both of us found it wasn't quite enough to keep us going through the afternoon.  To bulk this dish up, you could increase the amount of lentils and/or quinoa; add an additional protein like tofu, grilled chicken, or cooked salmon; or pack a thick slice of whole grain bread on the side.

Lentil-Quinoa Yoga Bowl (adapted from 101 Cookbooks, original recipe here)
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked lentils
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1/3 cup cashews
3 T olive oil
1-1/2 tsp paprika

For the sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup raw spinach
1/4 cup green onion tops
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp chile garlic paste
scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

To finish: freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Cook the lentils and quinoa separately according to package directions (essentially, cover with lots of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender; time will vary depending on which type of lentils you use).  Drain, and place in separate bowls.  Season generously with salt.  Layer into four lunch containers -- a scoop of lentils followed by a scoop of quinoa.
2. Sprinkle each container with a quarter of the cashews.
3. Gently heat the oil over medium heat in a small pan.  Add the paprika, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Drizzle evenly over the four containers.
4. While everything cools off, make the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Divide among the four bowls.  Squeeze lime juice all over the top.
5. Cover and stash in the fridge until ready to eat.  Right at lunch time, stir everything together and enjoy.

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