15 September 2011

Arggghhhh...school lunches!!!

The kids are back at school and I'm determined not to let the school lunches overwhelm me. Last year I spent many an evening staring blankly at the fridge, wiggling my nose, or clicking my heels in the hope that I could magic up a filling and nutritious lunch for the little chefs. Instead, lunch invariably included yoghurt, a piece of fruit, some crackers and the inevitable vegemite sandwich. Filling - check, Nutritious - check, Boring - most definately check.

So this week I started a new regime, they still get the sandwiches and yoghurt a couple of times a week, but on the other days I mix it up a bit. This week I made a fabulous quinoa, sweetcorn and black bean salad, which they both ate or at least made an attempt to try. Quinoa is my new favourite no fat, high fibre, seriously protein rich carbohydrate - it has all of the essential amino acids that our  body requires. I'm surprised there was any left for the kids as I made it at lunchtime and scoffed half of it straight out of the pan.

I also baked some easy high fibre pear and apple muffins and popped them into the freezer in bags of 4 so they'll always have a treat in their lunchbox too.

I'm feeling very virtuous right now and determined to keep it up.

Sweetcorn, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

You can put different vegetables into the salad if you like, it's fab with some pomegranate seeds and pinenuts as well and I quite often spice it up with a pinch of chile pepper (though not for the kids)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped finely
  •  ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  •  400 mls vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernals
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 3 spring onions, chopped finely
  • juice of a lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1.       Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, sauté, garlic, onion, and cumin for 5 minutes until onion is softened.
2.       Add quinoa and stir to coat, Add vegetable or chicken stock, and simmer covered for 20 minutes, add frozen corn and simmer uncovered for an extra 5 minutes
3.       Remove from heat, add in black beans, spring onions and coriander. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze in lime juice, mix and chill overnight.

Wholemeal and Rolled Oat Apple Muffins
·         1 egg
·         ¾ cup low fat milk
·         ¼ cup vegetable oil
·         1/3 cup sugar
·         2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
·         1 cup raisins or sultanas
·         1 cup wholewheat flour
·         1 cup rolled oats
·         1 tablespoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ¼ teaspoon salt
·         2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Beat oil, milk, egg and sugar together and add grated apples
  2. Mix dry ingredients, included dried fruit together
  3. Fold wet ingredients into dry carefully, don't over-mix as muffins can be tough
  4. Put into muffin tins or cases and bake at 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees fahrenheit) for 15 to 20 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.


  1. The salad sounds yummy! Where might I be able to find quinoa in Doha? Thought I might give it a try.... thanks!

  2. Cooking with Gill19 November 2011 at 06:20

    You can find it in the organic section at Carrefour for a reasonable price, or at Megamart (but it's quite pricey there). Enjoy the salad.