Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Beat the Clock with Afternoon Slump-Busting Quinoa Salad


It's difficult to make good choices while hungry. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea, and to me, so is deciding what to have for lunch. It's just too tempting to succumb to unhealthy takeout options when my stomach is growling and I'm snappy and crabby due to low blood sugar.

Wouldn't it be nice if every day at noon, you could have a delicious, healthy, inexpensive lunch at the ready, to fight those takeout temptations? Well, with a very little forethought and advance preparation, you can!

Move Over Quinoa. There's A New Superfood In Town.

I love to prepare jarred salads - they are a snap to put together, and two or three days' worth of lunches can be assembled at one time. This bruschetta quinoa salad is so easy to make and it really incorporates the wonderful, fresh flavours of tomato and basil, with the added benefit of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied all afternoon. No three o'clock crashes with this flavourful lunch! It will keep you going until dinnertime. Plus, it's the prettiest lunch on the block!


1/4 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped basil


  Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely. *Make ahead: prepare the quinoa in advance and keep refrigerated until needed.*

  Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Pour into bottom of jar.

  Spoon cooled, cooked quinoa over top the dressing in the jar.

  Add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes, topped by chopped basil.

  To eat, shake up and enjoy!

For more great lunch ideas, try my Quinoa Salad in a Jar or my Fiesta Quinoa Salad. Quinoa's not your bag? Try my Freekeh Greek-eh Salad.