Inspiration from Meghan

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Power Protein Quinoa Explosion


Well hi and hello there my sweet lovely ladies (and few but mighty gents!). Isn’t a brand shiny new year just the best thing ever? Really. The best. I don’t care if this year is just a few days old- I am loving it already.

I want so very badly to post my brand new sweet potato barley brownie recipe but feel like it might be a little too soon post holiday to start throwing sweet treats at you- so I’ll save them until tomorrow. Enough time right?

Packing your own lunch is one of the easiest and most fun changes to make. It’s easy because all you are doing is bringing food with you to work/school/wherever. It’s fun because you get to be your own little take out restaurant – you can pack it in cute containers and pretend you’re on a picnic.

Pack It Right With All Your Might

  • Make Your Day Easier. I know this may sound strange when you think about how easy it is to just walk to the cafe next door to your office and pick up lunch on your break. Well, think about this. How many other people usually go to that cafe during lunch? A lot. And you’re all waiting in that same long line for lunch. By the time you get back to the office, you have to scarf that sandwich down before it’s back to work. Not much of a lunch break. Hello stress and indigestion. Pack your own and you could avoid all this and actually relax during your break. Maybe get a conversation in with a coworker and oh yes, taste your food. Wouldn’t that be nice?
  • Be A Control Freak. This is a no-brainer. By packing your lunch you can be sure you are making a healthy choice. This way, you can make sure you’re getting your veggies, fruits, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. No more unbalanced meals and no guilty feelings. You’ll probably feel a whole lot more energized than you would from the typical lunch-time fare.
  • Cha-Ching. That’s The Sound Of Money Being Saved. This is always nice. By packing your lunches and snacks, you will save money. If you typically spend eight dollars on your lunch, this adds up to 30 dollars per week. This means you would be spending $1,500 per year just on lunches! Pack your lunch and join me on a retreat instead! This, of course, doesn’t count the money spent on coffee breaks and other snacks. Make use of all the goodies in your fridge and eat up those leftovers.

This salad in particular makes a great breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. Dessert would be a tough sell.

Quinoa Greatness

Power Protein Quinoa Explosion

2 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water)
1 block tempeh
1 onion
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 heaping handful sprouts of choice (cut bite size if needed)
2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt to taste

  • Once quinoa is cooked, allow to cool. (cook as you would rice or any grain, just rinse first then cook)
  • Cut tempeh into cubes (about 1 inch square or smaller if you prefer)
  • Heat oil in skillet and sautee in onions and tempeh
  • Once browned and cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Once quinoa and tempeh are cool, toss in the mix of veggies.

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup flax oil
1 Tbs miso paste (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp tamari, soy or sea salt

  • Toss salad with dressing just before you’re going to serve it. If packing for lunch, best to store salad as is, and dress just before eating.


49 responses to “Power Protein Quinoa Explosion”

  1. Andie says:

    I love the look of these! I saw a busy, yet stylish, mom toting one of these on Christmas Eve and I couldn’t take my eyes off it!

  2. Malakai says:

    yay the quinoa recipe looks delicious

  3. Andrea T says:

    Awesome recipe! Tempeh never turns out well when I try to make it but I like it in restaurants. Maybe this one will work. I’ll buy some when I go grocery shopping today.
    I’m not entering the contest, but will spread the word.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Whatever- you’re entered.

      • Andrea T says:

        Great, more stuff I don’t need when I’m trying to purge. Let me win the contest items that I want to win. :P Just for that, I’ll win. The idiom about looking a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind.

        Back from a trip to Fiesta Farms, I’m about to start making this “Power Protein Quinoa Explosion” (hold the onion). I brown bag 4 days a week most weeks.

  4. Megan Cleverley says:

    Thanks for the recipe – I love finding new things to make with Quinoa.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I love quinoa, and your salad looks delicious. I’ll be making this one for sure!
    The lunch bag and baggie are so stylish! I’m a stay at home mom, so I don’t need to pack lunches for myself, but I do have two kids who are always hungry as soon as we get in the car it seems. I wouldn’t mind carrying snacks in style so thanks for the chance :)

  6. celestial says:

    yay I love a packed lunch. Such a simply beautiful thing to do for yourself!

  7. Tina says:

    Ohh I love Quinoa!
    This looks fabulous for my protein-loving man too!
    Totally gotta peep one of these stylish lunch totes.
    Thanks for all the fun, great info ; >

  8. Margaret says:

    I started following your blog because of your interest in the diet of your father who has had the same problem as my husband (prostate cancer) and now I’m following because of your attitude about healthy eating & your nutritious recipes.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you Margaret. That is very sweet. I hope your husband is doing well! My dad has his good days and his bad days- mostly with his spirit and energy but so far things are definitely on the up and up.

  9. Hayley says:

    Grain salads and bean salads are great for to-go lunches! I love making a bunch of servings at once so that I can have a few lunches for the week.

  10. Nicole says:

    Love the look of these bags!! You will have everyone wanting to bring their own lunch with these babies!

  11. Deena says:

    These bags are super cute! If I don’t win, I’ll definitely be buying my own! Liked RuMe on Facebook, already follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook!

  12. Lisa Chin, HHC says:

    Happy New Year, Meghan! The bag looks like a perfect way to make bringing lunch to work even more fun :) my bag is currently a recycled plastic bag until it gets dirty/leaked in.

  13. Katherine says:

    I had not heard of Rume before. The bags are so cute! Love the colors!

  14. Sondi says:

    Cute bags!! Would love to win one. :)

  15. Ricki says:

    The salad looks great–that is a terrific photo, so brilliantly colored! I’d LOVE a Rumi bag–have been eyeing them for ages. :)

  16. Ricki says:

    I follow your on twitter. :)

  17. Ricki says:

    I already “like” your FB page. (Oh, and a total aside–I was going to ask you TODAY to consider a print function–yay!)

  18. Terri says:

    I bring my lunch everyday w/o fail since I am a control freak. It would be nice to have a new lunch bag.

  19. Terri says:

    I already like you on FB

  20. Terri says:

    I just clicked like on Rumi FB page.

  21. Paula says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Quinoa has become such a staple in our diets since going vegan, never thought to add the tempeh too it!


  22. Kaley says:

    Love this Meghan! You have the most down to earth and warm approach to nutrition I have seen thus far! Keep up the excellent work!

    ps These Rume bags are very pragmatic, and stylish! I love bringing reusable bags with me on my grocery adventures! Fingers crossed for this contest!


    Kaley :)

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you Kaley- that means a lot. Nice to know that what I am aiming to do is coming across effectively.

  23. Karen says:

    These are very cute–Hmmm. I’ve never had tempeh before. I have always been nervous about it. I should probably try it!

  24. Kristen says:

    I love any dish with tempeh! This lunch bag is way cuter than the plastic bags from the grocery store I usually pack my lunch in.

  25. Sarah L. says:

    Wow, this would sure beat the beat up old canvas grocery bag I currently tote my lunch around in! :)

  26. michelle says:

    Yum! Thanks for getting me out of my usual quinoa salad rut. I love the idea of tempeh and beautiful red cabbage!

  27. Judy Y says:

    Great website! Keep up the excellent work!


  28. janet says:

    I find it easy to bring lunch to work – but what I have found difficult is to give up the free lunches at work. I have resolved to skip the food, but not the talks. Wish me luck! :)

  29. Erin says:

    This dressing was great on a spinach salad. And if my sister wins the bag, I’ll take it ;-)

  30. Megan says:

    I always take my lunch to school (I’m a grad student). However, sometimes I find myself working later than expected and need something for dinner. That is when I get myself in nutrition planning issues!

  31. Kaley Y says:

    Fingers crossed for today’s contest draw! Love the ethos of Rume bags – eco-friendly and fashionable at the same time! Any time we can opt for cloth over plastic bags is a good thing! :-)

  32. Marianne @ Meal Mixer says:

    I love grain salads – definitely have to try this one – it’s beautiful. Question about tempeh, though, is it a heavily processed soy product? I try to stay away from them.

    : )

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Not at all!!! It is one of the healthiest. I’d day less processed than tofu. We don’t do processed soy over here. It’s naturally fermented with a bacterial culture.

  33. Healthy Camping Guide says:

    […] Power Protein Quinoa Explosion: a great option to make at home and store in a cooler, or you can make it fresh on site. […]

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