Picnic Lunch: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato, Feta Cheese and Toasted Seeds

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Finally it’s warm (and dry!) enough in London to sit outside in the park for lunch. I love having picnics, it reminds me of my childhood- eating finger foods, lounging on the grass, out in the sunshine.
Also, bringing your own lunch to work is a great way to save money, eat healthy and save calories (restaurants are concerned primarily about taste so in goes the butter, oils, fats, sugars and salts to make the food taste great). Cooking for yourself enables you to control all of that.

I found these great little lunch boxes that are BPA free and even have the utensils right in the lid, making them perfect for picnics.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of rinsed organic Quinoa
1 cup of water with veggie stock (optional)
1 cup of diced squash and sweet potato (mixed)
1 small zucchini diced
1/2 yellow pepper diced
1/4 cup of organic low fat feta cheese
2 tbsp of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds (mixed)
Small handful of parsley
1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil, good quality
S&P

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Instructions:

1. Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot plus the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 min.
2. Turn the oven to 250 degrees C.
3. Add all of your diced veggies in a large bowl, add in the thyme, oregano, paprika, s&p, and a good drizzle of oil. Toss around and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 min.
4. This dish can be eaten warm but if you want more of a salad, once the quinoa and veggies are cooked, let them cool down. Once cool (or kept warm) add back to the large bowl to incorporate.
5. Add in the feta cheese, chopped parsley, toasted seeds, a drizzle of good quality olive oil and lemon juice. Toss well. Ready to serve!

Quinoa is really high in protein and Gluten-Free, making this a gluten-free meal that will give you enough energy to make it through the day 🙂

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