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Weeknight Vegetarian: Roasted Lemon Quinoa with Chickpeas & Feta

I used to be super awesome at meal planning.  I would do 2 weeks at a time and I pretty much never wasted a single CSA veggie.  Risking utter modesty, I rocked.

For the last few months, I...haven't rocked.  Without the push of CSA veggies or farmers' markets shoving heaps of kale in my fridge, I've become a little lackadaisical in planning and executing meals.  And although I do love eating orange winter vegetables for 23 nights in a row...right, I don't.

Not to mention that with caring for 2 kids, one of whom actually requires his own food allotment (children being counted for food planning?? I was shocked, too), my time/desire for preparing meals (especially ones that don't feed all of us for dinner and preferably the next day's lunch) has dropped.  (This meals that since baby c was born, I have made homemade pasta...zero times.  Too much effort for a rather insubstantial outcome.)

This is all to say, I need to get back on the meal-planning bandwagon.  I need meals.
Meals that are:
Quick
Vegetarian
In-Season
Whole
Hearty

In the event anyone else has similar requirements and needs some fresh meals in the planning arsenal, I'll share our week's meals here on Friday, so that you (and I) have time to shop for items over the weekend.  And, of course, I'd love to hear what you're making this week, too!

This week:

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Roasted Lemon Quinoa with Chickpeas & Feta

This was one of those "it's 4:55 and we can't pizza AGAIN and I haven't gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks because we've all been sick" meals.  I had several lemons and quickly googled whether they could be roasted but didn't come up with a definitive answer.  I'd purchased them for dirt cheap so figured it was a fairly low-risk experiment.

Lo, they were delicious.  Amazing.  So good that I called Dan the next day after eating the leftovers for lunch and asked if he'd mind the the same meal two nights in a row.


3 cups quinoa, cooked (I've also done a mix of quinoa & brown rice)
3 lemons
1 bulb fennel
1 medium onion
1.5 cups chickpeas (cooked if starting with dry, or drained and rinsed if using canned)
Several handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
4 ounces feta or goat cheese
Olive oil
Sea salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Slice lemons into rounds and place in a roasting pan. Slice fennel & onions and add to pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and place in hot oven until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. While veggies are roasting, cook quinoa if not already cooked.  When veggies are done, combine quinoa and veggies in large bowl.  Mix in cheese & spinach.  Serve and be amazed that roasted lemons are so tasty.

(I think this would be really good with some diced cucumber and/or bell pepper, but, like I said, no shopping in 2 weeks.)


4 comments

  1. I am very impressed by your meals. Even when I get around to cooking, there aren't as many "fancy" ingredients. Mushrooms? Fennel? Goat cheese?!? We keep it pretty basic, haha. But that quinoa salad looks delicious and I have almost everything at home (no fennel). Pinned!

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  3. I love this idea! As a relatively new vegetarian who grew up in Utah, I need all the veggie help I can get. I've experimented with quinoa a few times, but I love how you've used it here. Looking forward to trying this recipe. :)

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  4. Do lemon peels become yummy when roasted? I'm excited to try this!

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