20-Minute Quinoa Lunch That’ll Get You Back On Track

I have had one of the most amazing vacations of my lifetime. And, trust me, that’s saying A LOT! I grew up in Tanzania, after all, travelled to Zanzibar, Kenya, saw the Kilimanjaro, have been to New York, the Victoria Falls, Paris, Barcelona etc. I’m not trying to show off, I cannot really take a lot of credit for visiting all those places (my mom’s a travel agent and my parents are crazy about travelling). But to say that the past week has been one of the most amazing, that’s really saying a lot.

I went on a cruise with my boyfriend, and we travelled around the canaries, meaning Gran Canaria, Tenerrifa, Lanzarote, La Palma and Madeira. BEAUTIFUL. I highly recommend you plan your next vacation in Madeira or La Palma, those two were my absolute favorite islands!

As you can see, we had loads of fun:

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See the big ship in the background, the one with the big lips? That’s our cruise ship, and half of it is still hidden (in height).

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I thought I’d also include a funny one, pointing to the top of the cruise ship. It seemed impossible to get a picture of the entire ship…this is the top half.

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I went aboslutely crazy over the fruit buffet…I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much fruit daily. And that, again, is saying a lot, because I LOVE fruit and can’t get enough of it.

Overall, it was just truly special. The sun shone every day, and my boyfriend and I got to enjoy so much time with each other, which we oh-so-needed after my craziness during studying the past half year. We saw beautiful black beaches, went kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean, and walked through so many quaint towns and villages, drank so many coffees, sangrias and other cocktails, that I lost count after a while…

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One issue you can’t get around, though, is that during a vacation, you always tend to eat less healthy, exercise less, and generally consume more sugary drinks (be it in the form of soda or, as in my case, in the form of cocktails). This is fine, of course, but it’s something I had to tell myself almost daily, as the buffets we had access to around the clock make it so hard to resist eating EVERYTHING. That’s why I actually don’t like buffets too much, there is always so much food that I want to try and that’s physically impossible, at least for me.

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Anyways, I am back in reality now, which is why I have spent a good part of the day in my kitchen, relishing the fact that I am finally allowed to fend for myself again. Don’t get me wrong, being cooked for was amazing, but I just love preparing my food so much that I am super glad to be making myself smoothies, lunch bowls etc. again. This morning, I started out with a beautiful green smoothie, with peaches, bananas, spinach, bee pollen, coconut butter and coconut water. It was, truly, perfection. I am loving my green smoothies lately, overeating on spinach and buying it in 1 kg bags…crazy, I know, but I just can’t get enough!

For lunch, I made myself some yummy quinoa (after a week of eating “conventional” grains such as rice and pasta, I was really craving some health food) and, using two ingredients I purchased on the islands, I made myself a pan of veggies:

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It may not look like much, but you can whip this up in under 20 minutes if you’re a fast veggie chopper! And that’s a great lunch in my book.

20-Minute Quinoa Lunch

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 6-7 small ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small chilis
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 tsp. chopped herbs
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup non-cooked quinoa

Procedure:

1. Cook the quinoa with 2 cups of water and 1 tsp. of vegetable stock.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and chop up all your veggies.

3. Sauté the red onion, garlic, and chili in a pan, and then add the zucchini. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes, seasalt, and herbs and turn down to medium heat. Do not cover with a lid anymore, stir frequently for about 5 minutes.

5. Once the sauce thickens up, add the freshly ground pepper and take off of the heat. Stir in the chopped green onion and serve immediately.

You’ll start with this:

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…go to this…

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…and then this…

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…and, finally, after all that yummy colorful goodness, you’ll eat this:

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And, trust me, after eating that, you’ll feel absolutely amazingly energized, satisfied, and ready to get back on track to healthy eating! I’m super glad to be back, get ready for weekly posts again!

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