Every day I pack the same stuff in the lunch boxes for the kids, without fail a sandwich that I know they will eat (leaving the crusts), a couple of yoghurts, some fruit and if I’ve been baking them maybe a lunch box friendly cake or bar and the next day I do the same – it’s like ground hog day. So this year I’m mixing it up a bit and they are helping with preparing their own lunch boxes sometimes. For this week’s Cooking with Kids A to Z we’re making a Simple Lunchbox Quinoa Salad that can be prepared the night before and my kids actually tried it.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

I’ve only recently discovered Quinoa and really the first few times I tried cooking with it it was a bit bland and I wasn’t impressed, but I’d also had similar experiences with rice, couscous and pearl barley so I decided to use some of my favourite techniques to make them a little more flavoursome and adapted it slightly for what I knew my kids would like and we ended up with a healthy tasty lunch box salad – which as I said they tried didn’t eat all of it but it did get a “I’d like this is a small amount with my dinner” (so result!)

Ingredients for Simple Lunchbox Quinoa Salad

60g of Quinoa

180ml of water

1 vegetable stock cube

1 drop lemon essential oil

1 drop lime essential oil

Tomato

Cucumber

Cheese

The essential oils can be swapped with some lemon and lime juice but you need to adjust your level of water accordingly. We have used these items in the salad as they are favoured by my kids but you could use anything, I like it with grilled chicken.

Quick dressing

I love this Sistema Klip It Salad To Go Container [affiliate link] as it gives me a little dressing pot as well. So I add a little extra flavour with a quick dressing.

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Pinch of Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Simple Lunchbox Quinoa Salad

Quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking, so the kids first weighed out the amount of quinoa – weighing out is great to get them to practice number skills, with my youngest we look for a certain number that I know she will recognise like 5 or 4 and then my eldest finishes off the weighing to get the correct number.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Once it’s weighed we use a sieve and rinse it under running water.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Then place in a saucepan and add the water.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

On the hob it will need 20 minutes in total, first bring to the boil add the stock cube and the essential oils and then simmer for the remaining time or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

 

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Cut up your salad

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

To make the dressing if you want – pour the balsamic vinegar into the pot. Add the olive oil,  some Salt and Pepper to taste. Pinch of oregano and shake the dressing.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Add the quinoa to the lunchbox and place in the fridge for a quick and simple lunchbox quinoa salad that the kids can make at their lunch tables in school or you at your desk.

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

More Quinoa Recipes from the Cooking with Kids Blogging Team

Simple Alternative to Bread lunchbox Quinoa Salad ideal for you or the kids. Easy recipe to make with the kids the night before and delicious

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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