This is one of my new favourite lunches as it is so tasty but also pretty healthy too and gives me lots of energy for going to the gym! Even better I can make up a batch and divide it up into individual containers so it makes a perfect packed lunch for my hubby and will do us both for 2 days.....well most of the time!
Quinoa makes a great alternative to grains like couscous or rice and is gluten free so perfect for anyone needing to avoid gluten.
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup quinoa
1 big handful of spinach leaves
5 or 6 basil leaves (a few more if they are small)
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)*
1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
2 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
50g feta cheese
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to serve
Bring 2 cups (500ml) of stock to the boil then add the quinoa (you can use water if you prefer, the stock just adds a bit more flavour). Stir then turn the heat to low and leave to simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients. Put the spinach and basil into a small food processor and blitz until very finely chopped. (If you don't have a processor simply chop it up using a knife as finely as you can.)
Once the quinoa is ready pour it into a large bowl then add the finely chopped spinach and basil, lemon zest and juice of ½ the lemon, the chilli, 1 tbsp of olive oil and some salt. Mix everything carefully together using a fork until well combined and leave to cool to room temperature before adding the red pepper, spring onions, tomatoes and feta cheese. Mix again then taste to check the seasoning and if needed add the remaining lemon juice and tablespoon of olive oil before serving.
*If you don't have a fresh chilli you can easily use a good pinch of dried chilli flakes instead.