Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's for lunch?

I work from home a lot. This means that I don't often have the luxury of going out for lunch. I have to make my own instead.

If I'm lucky (and organised), I'll have leftovers from the previous night's dinner. In which case, all I'll have to do is heat them up, plonk myself on the sofa, choose some trashy afternoon TV show to watch and tuck in.

But, more often than not, we'll have scoffed all of the previous night's dinner and I'll have no option but to create something from the contents of my fridge. Something quick and tasty that will power me through the rest of the afternoon. Something exactly like this:

This quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash, green beans, red onion, chilli, coriander and rocket has a great mix of flavours and textures. There's a bite to the grains and a crunch to the green beans. The chilli lends heat while the rocket and coriander add freshness. Combine this with the soft sweetness of the squash and you couldn't ask for a better lunch

Here's how you make it for two people:
150g quinoa*
Half of a medium-sized squash, cut into 1cm cubes
Half of a red onion
Half of a red chilli (or more if you like your food hot)
120g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
A handful of fresh rocket
3tbsp of chopped coriander

* This works just as well with other grains such as bulgur wheat, couscous or even rice.

  • Put the cubes of squash in a roasting tin. Season them with salt and pepper and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Place in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius/390F and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until soft.

  • Cook the quinoa as you would rice. Place in a saucepan with double the amount of boiling water. Cover the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the squash and quinoa are cooking.

  • Soften the onion and the chilli in half a teaspoon of olive oil.

  • Boil the green beans in salted boiling water for up to four minutes, until they are tender but still retain a bit of crunch.

  • Mix the onion, chilli and green beans with the cooked quinoa. Add the roasted squash and finally the rocket and coriander.

    Find the TV remote control. Choose your favourite programme. Sit back on the sofa and tuck in!

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