Lunchtime Quinoa Bowl


Confession: I’ve been getting off track with lunch recently. I am fortunate to live about a mile from work, so I frequently walk home during my lunch hour to let the dog out and grab a quick bite. It’s really ideal because I’m able to get a few steps in, take a mental break from the office, and enjoy some doggy snuggles.

However, I used to be the best at packing well balanced and filling lunches when I took my lunch to work and had to plan ahead. Now, I tend to grab just whatever is quick - some cheese and crackers, a can of tuna, a pear, some pretzels dipped in peanut butter, a cookie, whatever… I usually returned to the office feeling gross and bloated or still hungry and on the prowl for unhealthy snacks. Last week, I purchased frozen chicken nuggets and corn dogs at the grocery store because I thought that would be a great option for my grab-and-go lunches. What was I thinking?! After reaching that low point, I realized enough is enough. It is time to get back on track!

When I was single, I used to frequently make hearty quinoa bowls for dinner and then eat the leftovers for lunch. On Sunday, I decided to whip up a big batch and use it for at least three of my lunches this week. The great thing about quinoa bowls is they’re hard to mess up. Sometimes I follow a recipe, but more often than not,  I just chop up whatever veggies and herbs I have on hand and add some good olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, and pepper for a little flavor. However, this time I used a recipe I found at Kaylee Cooks.

Tomato-Basil Quinoa with Spinach and White Beans


  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth(note, this is more than you usually need to cook 1 c of quinoa, but we are also cooking the tomatoes and beans in the broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 tbsp basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz fresh baby spinach


  1. Combine quinoa and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large dutch oven (or other large pan) over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and onions; cook for 1 minute (until the onion is softened)
  4. Add tomatoes, beans and basil and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Pour the pot of quinoa and broth into the tomato mixture, season and simmer on a low heat (uncovered) until the quinoa is absorbs the broth and is cooked through (You may need to add a bit more broth to finish cooking the quinoa if the broth is absorbing too quickly).
  6. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add the spinach and stir to wilt.

I’d love to hear your easy, go-to lunch ideas!