Lunch Recipes: Veggie Pesto Quinoa Bowl

Building a lunch bowl is as simple as looking in the fridge and identifying what ingredients you already have. Spring, summer and fall are months filled with delicious, in season produce. What reason could you have for not wanting to take advantage of that? When it comes to quinoa, you either love or hate it. Some people equate it to eating sand, others swear by its versatility. I love quinoa but if you're not a fan, couscous is another fantastic grain to use in this recipe.

Eating healthy for lunch can be tricky. We all have good intentions in mind but going to the nearest Mexican joint for a burrito is easy. Too easy. However, packing a lunch with identifiable ingredients and grease-less flavor has got to be a more appealing option. We can share recipe upon recipe that you can make the night ahead, prep on weekends, etc. You probably have a few ideas yourself. The remaining dilemma is getting it to the office without making a mess, worrying about leaks and keeping everything fresh. Thanks to the team at Box Appetit, we were able to try a few of their fantastic products complimentary including the one you see featured in today's post, the Lunch Pot.

The Veggie Pesto Quinoa Bowl is a vegetarian dish but it is easily customizable to include meat. Add sausage, cut up left-over chicken or steak and you've got a protein-rich dish. The chickpeas roasted along with the other veggies add a nice touch of protein to the vegetarian dish so you still get a good punch of energy and nutrition. The lunch pot from Box Appetit comes with two different "pots" and a spork. Fill one pot with the quinoa bowl and fill the other with fruit salad or a snack for mid-afternoon. Hummus and veggies is a great option or apples and peanut butter (a personal favorite of mine). When you're finished, the pots condense into one for easy storage on your way home.

Like anything that requires roasting different vegetables, make sure to let the sturdier ones cook longer than the rest. Root veggies and starches will always need extra cooking time from lighter veggies like peppers. The amount of time they need depends on how they are cut. Since we're slicing the carrots and veggies, this recipe only requires about 20 minutes extra time. Get the full recipe and instructions below.

2 Carrots, sliced on a diagonal
2 Parsnips, sliced on a diagonal
2/3 cup Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup Vegetable Broth
6 Asparagus Stalks, Cut into thirds
1 cup (a handful) Snap Peas, ends trimmed
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced large
1 tablespoon Pesto sauce
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add carrots, parsnips and chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, add the snap peas, asparagus and red bell pepper to the pan. Mix all the ingredients together. Bake another 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil. Cover and let cook 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed. Mix in the pesto and add the vegetables. Serve.

Yields 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

What does a typical lunch look like for you? Make sure to check out all the products Box Appetit offers including a Bento Box, reusable water bottles and more. There are plenty of options that can fit all sorts of purses and work bags. No need to worry about a clunky lunch box that takes you back to junior high. This is lunching adult-style.