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Office Lunch Box – Mix Veg Quinoa Pulao

BreakfastDinnerLunchOffice Lunch BoxIndianVegan

What to make for an office lunch box is a big headache every day. And because of the lockdown, we have become out of touch too. But do not worry. I will share some healthy, nutritious, quick, and easy lunch box recipes to ease your life. Check out all my lunch box recipes here.

You must try this mix-veg Quinoa Pulao recipe. It is easy, quick, healthy, and very tasty. Perfect for your office lunch box and also for dinner too. There is minimal chopping involved which is just perfect for busy mornings or even when you want something quick after a hectic day at work. Isn’t it? Also, it has quinoa, a lot of veggies, and tofu – everything together in one recipe makes it balanced and nutritious. By the way, do you know that quinoa is highly rich in proteins compared to many other kinds of cereal?

STORY TIME

You know how much I love healthy and detox recipes. They make me feel light and energetic. And we actually need some light and detox recipes after the festive season. Right? Usually after traveling or after festivals when we both eat all kinds of junk and a lot of sweets, we prefer to give some break to our stomach. For those days, this recipe comes as a rescue. Quinoa is very nutritious and this recipe has a lot of veggies and no spices, just salt. And still, it tastes amazing. You will be surprised that without any spice something can taste so good. I call it the magic of veggies 🙂

When I first tried this recipe, I was not sure whether Jatin would like it or not. But to my surprise, he loves it more than I do. Really. That is unbelievable for me too. He is the one who keeps asking me to make this recipe. He enjoys it over breakfast. But this is such a simple and filling recipe that you can even make it for lunch or dinner. I even add tofu in this recipe as it tastes even better with it. So promise me that you will trust this recipe and try it soon 🙂

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PREP AHEAD!

It is always a rush when you have to leave for the office in the morning. And then we tend to ignore the most important thing – our meals. Now we also have the option to buy food from the cafeteria or any restaurant. But, nothing can match the satisfaction and fulfillment of a home-cooked meal. With home-cooked food, you also know what is going inside your body. And don’t worry, with a little bit of preparation, making lunch box for office can be made easy.

Here are a few things which I follow:

1 – Meal Planning

This is such a Time Saver. I am doing it for years now and my life becomes so much easier when I know what to cook every day. I don’t prepare anything for the entire week but I make sure to plan my meals for the entire week. Obviously, it changes depending on our mood and appetite. But when I have the weekly meal plan list ready, I know what to buy from the grocery stores and I know what to cook the next day.

I don’t make an elaborate plan. Just mention the weekly meals in my Google Keep. Try this. Trust me, it will ease your life.

2 – Preps a day before

When your meal planning is done and you have the groceries for the week, you can simply check a night before about what you need to cook tomorrow. If there is any preparation that may take some time, do it before going to the bed. You will feel such a relief the next day.

Cut Veggies: If there is an elaborate chopping of veggies needed for any recipe, I try to do that the night before. But in this recipe, you don’t need to do much chopping. It can be easily done in the morning. Otherwise, chop before you go to bed.

Cook Quinoa: It is always better if you cook quinoa beforehand and let it cool down completely. That way it is not sticky and mushy. If you boil and use it immediately, the pulao becomes a little mushy. I would suggest boiling it a night before so that it would be much easier to quickly make it in the morning.

WHAT IS QUINOA?

Quinoa has been introduced into the western diet only recently and it is described as a superfood. But humans have been eating quinoa for 7000 years (source: www.nutritionfacts.org). Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal or technically a seed. It is exceptionally nutritious with high protein content compared to cereals.

It is also rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin E & C, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, copper, and sodium. It contains fibers too. And those who are on diet and need to reduce weight, this is just for you. It is gluten-free too. Perfect, isn’t it?

HOW TO COOK QUINOA?

Rinse quinoa once with some water.

In a pan, add quinoa (one part) and water (two parts). Add some salt to taste. Cook on high flame till it comes to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame, cover, and let it cook till all the water is absorbed. Once it is done, let it cool completely to prevent stickiness and mushiness.

Make sure the quantity of water is double the quantity of quinoa. You will notice a change in texture once completely cooked. They become translucent and look like tiny pearls 🙂

IS THIS RECIPE VEGAN?

Yes. Of course.

This vegetable quinoa pulao recipe is vegan and totally plant-based. Generally, some ghee is added in pulao at the end for some extra flavor but I don’t add it. Sometimes, I add plant-based butter once the pulao is cooked. It adds a nice touch to the recipe.

This pulao tastes good with some boondi raita on the side and if you are a vegan, you can use plant-based curd. I prefer soy curd.

If you want more vegan recipe suggestions, try our Thai green curryvegan banana walnut muffinsNon-Fried Spring Rolls.

HOW TO SERVE THIS PULAO?

You can serve this pulao with any pickle or curd. I served it with a quick and easy amla fry. Amla is in season and it is quite healthy for our body. You must include amla in your diet. I shared a video on 5 Recipes of Amla. You must check that out. It has some interesting recipes of amla which you can easily eat.

I also made a quick Boondi raita which is simple and tastes quite good with this veg quinoa pulao.

MORE OFFICE LUNCH BOX RECIPES

  1. Tari Wale Aloo Tamatar with Spring Onion Paratha
  2. Aloo Beans with Mix Moong Dal
  3. Chana Dal Pulao
  4. Punjabi Wadi Pulao

Lunch Box Recipes
Tari Wale Aloo Tamatar with Spring Onion Parathe

office lunch box
Aloo Beans & Mix Moong Dal

Punjabi Wadi Veg Pulao
Punjabi Wadi Pulao

Office Lunch box recipe - chana dal pulao
Chana Dal Pulao

Now you are all ready to make this delicious meal for your Indian office lunch box recipe. It is quick, easy, and very tasty. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a happy meal for yourself.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Office Lunch Box – Mix Veg Quinoa Pulao

Quick. Easy. Healthy.

Servings

2

Prep Time

5 min

Cook Time

20 min

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

Pulao

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • A few Curry Leaves
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli (whole)
  • 1 Onion roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Broccoli chopped
  • 1 cup Zucchini chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mixed Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup French Green Beans
  • 100 g Tofu cubed
  • 1 cup Frozen Green Peas
  • Salt to taste

Other

  • Boondi Raita as needed

Steps

Cook Quinoa

  1. Rinse quinoa once with some water.
  2. In a pan, add quinoa, water, and some salt to taste. Let them come to a boil.
  3. Once it boils, simmer the flame and cover. Let it cook till all the water is absorbed. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, remove from the flame and let it cool completely.

Tempering

  1. In a kadhai or pan, heat some cooking oil.
  2. Once the oil is heated, add some mustard seeds and chana dal. Saute and let them sizzle for a few seconds. 
    They burn fast. So, be careful.
  3. Add curry leaves and dry red chili (whole). Saute for 5 seconds.
  4. Add chopped onions and let them cook till they soften. Do not brown the onions. Cook till they turn translucent. It takes 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add all the chopped vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle some salt to taste. Mix, cover, and let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes. 
    To maintain the crunchiness of the veggies, partially cook them. Do not overcook.
  6. Add cooked quinoa and frozen peas. Mix, cover, and let them for another 5 minutes.
  7. And your delicious and healthy meal is ready to be served. 
  8. Enjoy it with some boondi raita. Have a happy meal :)
    Don't forget to pack some fruits too for your office snacking.
frequently asked questions

FAQs

What is Quinoa and what are its benefits?
+
Quinoa has been introduced into the western diet only recently and it is described as a superfood. But humans have been eating quinoa for 7000 years (source: www.nutritionfacts.org). Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal or technically a seed. It is exceptionally nutritious with high protein content compared to cereals. It is also rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin E & C, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, copper, and sodium. It contains fibers too. And those who are on diet and need to reduce weight, this is just for you.

Which material is best for lunch box?
+

These days Tupperware or air-tight plastic lunch boxes are quite popular. But they are not good for health. Stainless steel or glass lunch boxes are good and leakproof. These days you can even get good quality and beautiful bamboo lunch boxes.


What is a superfood?
+

According to the dictionary meaning, it is a food that is exceptionally nutritious, rich in antioxidants, and is beneficial for health. It includes food like ghee, broccoli, salmon, berries, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, etc.

In my opinion, most of the food we eat is a superfood in itself. Consider oats or spinach or garlic. Are they any less? They are nutrition dense and very versatile too. Apart from that, they taste good. So, eat everything but eat in moderation. Every food is a superfood when consumed in moderation.


Can we eat quinoa in fasting days?
+

Not a lot of people know this but quinoa is a pseudo-cereal or technically a seed. You can and should eat it on fasting days. It is much more nutritious than sabudana. You can make pulao or kheer from quinoa or simply boil and eat it with any fasting sabzi like tari wale aalu tamatar.


How to cook quinoa?
+
Rinse quinoa once with some water. In a pan, add quinoa (one part) and water (two parts). Add some salt to taste. Cook on high flame till it comes to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame, cover, and let it cook till all the water is absorbed. Once it is done, let it cool completely to prevent stickiness and mushiness. Make sure the quantity of water is double the quantity of quinoa. You will notice a change in texture once completely cooked. They become translucent and look like tiny pearls 🙂

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