Not to brag or anything, but I am a total expert on bringing lunch to work. An entry-level salary in publishing and an interest in nutrition motivated me to get into the habit of brown bagging it a few years ago.
In the beginning, there was a lot of was trial and error (think soggy lettuce, disastrous salad dressing leaks, etc.) but I pushed on to become a queen of Tupperware-toting.
This skill has proved useful in more fun areas of life too – like picnicking and long-distance travel.
Grain-based salads are great to have in your byo meal arsenal. Filling, vegetable-ful, and easy to pack and assemble – they check all the boxes. They keep well for a couple of days in the fridge and go well over a big bed of greens, if you’re looking to bulk up your bowl.
This recipe roasts sugar snap peas with shallots prior to adding them to the salad. The sugar snaps caramelize making their naturally sweet flavor more complex. White beans, roasted red peppers, toasted almonds and nutty quinoa come together to balance out the sweetness of the sugar snaps and shallot.
Roasted Sugar Snap Pea Quinoa Salad
(Makes 2 serves)
– 1 cup quinoa, cooked
– 1 1/2-2 cups sugar snap peas
– 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup cooked white beans, rinsed
– 1/4 cup roasted red peppers/capsicum
– 1 tablespoon olive oil, more to taste
– salt & pepper
– pinch of red pepper flakes
– toasted almond slices
To cook quinoa: Place 1/2 cup rinsed dry quinoa in 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered until the liquid is adsorbed (about 10 minutes.) There should be little white tails that come out as each grain puffs. These usually indicate that the quinoa is done.
Roast your sugar snap peas (based on a recipe from Eating Well): Toss sugar snap peas and sliced shallot with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper and chili flakes together in a bowl. Spread mixture out on a baking tray and place in a 200 C/400 F oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool.
To toast almonds: Scatter in a dry pan and cook over a medium-low heat until they become golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes.)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently to combine. Add more olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Place in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Serve cold or at room temperature.