Sunday, April 22, 2018
Health

Fight those brown-bagging blues with Quinoa Lunch Box Rollups

With a new school year on the horizon, it's time to think about what's for lunch. Brown bagging it is plenty economical, but a steady diet of sandwiches becomes boring, to say nothing of the fact that all those servings of refined carbs simply don't provide the energy necessary to power you through a long afternoon.

So here is an alternative to the typical sandwich: colorful veggie-protein rolls that are light, yet still substantial. I modeled it on a sushi roll but swapped out the rice for quinoa and the fish for turkey.

By now, most folks have heard of quinoa, an ancient grainlike seed. It's not only a protein-rich food, it's also gluten-free and a terrific source of many nutrients, including fiber. But flavor-wise, quinoa isn't exactly a powerhouse. So I add a little lemon juice and olive oil, which makes it quite tasty.

Another of quinoa's charms is that it's quick to cook. White quinoa is the most common variety, but you're welcome to substitute black or red in this recipe (though the end result will not be as pleasing to the eye). Be sure to check the back of the package to make sure the quinoa has been prewashed. If not, rinse it well yourself before cooking. It can be bitter otherwise.

This lunch roll is formed with a double layer of sliced turkey breast, which ensures that it won't fall apart. I've filled it with carrots and red peppers, but any vegetables cut into thin strips will do. Likewise, you can substitute the lettuce of your choice for the spinach in the recipe.

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