I love making multiple meals through one meal prep process.I especially enjoy when the bulk of the work can be done while I am working out. But I really love how easy and simple it can be.
One of the meals is an adaptation from a salad I got from Women’s Health. The other is just a combination of flavors I love. You start out with quinoa, a ton of veggies, two bean types: garbanzo and black, cilantro, and mad chopping skills you’ll need to take those veggies down. I also added mandarin oranges, pineapple and mango. My latest pleasure is to buy frozen mango. I don’t need to deal with the peel and chunk process. It’s about the same price and it saves me the mess. I use reduced sodium canned beans. I cannot make a successful pot of homemade beans. Every time, every method I try, they come out a half cooked rock of disgusting. I will just deal with the sodium, and other potential risks associated with canned beans because they are edible unlike the ones I make.
Here is the run down.
Cook 1 cup quinoa in the rice cooker. If you are unfamiliar with this process, you just throw the quinoa in and add water, turn on. It will cook into a perfect tender state. If you have a fancy rice cooker, rumor on the interweb says to use the brown rice setting. I have a highly prestigious Walgreen’s rice cooker, that features a warm/cook switch only. It seriously is my favorite appliance. That baby was around $10 and it is going strong two and half years later. It looks like this.
While your quinoa is bubbling, chop the following.
red onion, bell pepper(yellow, red, or whatever you have on hand), green onion, tomato, cilantro.
open/drain your beans, mandarin oranges, jalapenos(or use fresh).Dethaw your frozen mangoes.
Add dethawed corn that has been rinsed in your colander with warm water until unfrozen. Learn from my foolish mistake and defrost them. It will save you an unexpected crunch and surprise. Add this to your bowl of chopped veggies.
Now, if you want to make a nice sauce to throw on top, I would suggest combining olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. You don’t need to add this but you can.
Now here is where all your work pays off.
Divide the quinoa between two bowls/tupperware containers/whatever you use to mix/store food.
Now in one bowl add one part of your veggie medley(tomatoes, corn, peppers, green onion, onion, cilantro, jalapeno), black beans and mango.
The other bowl add one one part veggie medley, garbanzo beans, and oranges, plus dressing if you are using it.
Garnish both bowls with more cilantro/spices if you want. Either dish would enjoy a compliment of garlic, cumin or chilli powder. I used all three with the mango dish.
Now you have two different meals from one prep process. I didn’t want to use the stove today. We are in a heat advisory but you could grill the veggie medley, or saute it before adding. I liked it raw, but not everyone feels the same way.If you don’t want to use quinoa, the veggie combination would compliment chicken or white fish well as a salsa. If you can’t or don’t want to use corn, just leave it out. The fruit is also not going to ruin the overall flavor if you leave it out. I would recommend going light on the red onion, or omitting completely if you don’t like it. It is a very powerful flavor.
I am excited for lunch tomorrow, are you?