My weeks have been crazy busy lately, with work, school, working out, and studying. One of the things I do to make sure I stay on track both calorie and time-wise is to make my meals ahead of time. I like to make my lunches and dinners for the week over the weekend. That way, I can just grab my lunch in the morning and go. And when I stop by my apartment after work to grab my books before class, I can grab my dinner and eat it in class. The nights I don't have class, I can go to the gym after work and not have to think about cooking dinner when I get back.
I've found that certain grains and lentils have been really good for me for lunch - they're filling enough to get me through the second half of the work day, but not so filling that I'm in a food coma. Lately, I've really gotten into quinoa, Israeli couscous, and whole wheat couscous. I have several cans of beans sitting on the shelf, so I decided to come up with something using beans. I have to say, this was a great decision. This turned out so tasty, I almost ate it up today instead of putting it in the fridge for lunch next week. The recipe makes 4 servings at less than 300 calories per serving.
Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn, Zucchini, and Grape Tomatoes
3/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels
1 zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1. Spray pan with the olive oil (I use my Misto!) and set on high heat.
2. Once the pan heats up, add the onion, garlic, and zucchini.
3. Saute the mixture until the onions are translucent and the zucchini is slightly brown.
4. Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Uncover, fluff the quinoa, and make sure the liquid has all cooked away.
6. Add the corn, black beans, and grape tomatoes and combine.
Serves 4. Each serving is: