Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, I am doing what is best for my kid to create a balanced lunch.
KIDS LUNCH BOX #31 – Vegetable Quinoa Pulao & Yogurt + Roasted Makhana + Blueberries
Some kids school lunch box ideas to try…
- Drumstick Leaves Paratha + Aloo Gobi + Mixed Nuts
- Carrot Rice + Cucumber + Fruittellas
- Beetroot Rice + Yogurt + Dates and Nut Ladoo + Cherries
- Potato Spinach Pancakes + Sprouted Moong & Corn Salad+ Grapes
- Mayonnaise Veggie Pasta + Strawberries + Peanut Chikki
Here is what I packed for school lunch…
LUNCH – Vegetable Quinoa Pulao – Here is the detailed Vegetable Quinoa Pulao Recipe Link.
Quinoa Pulao / Pilaf - Instant Pot & Stovetop
Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml
- 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 cup mixed veggies (carrot, beans, peas, sweet corn)
- 2 tablespoons mint (pudina) optional
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1.25 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (coriander leaves)
Instant Pot Method:
- Firstly, press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil or ghee, and once it's hot, add all the whole spices. Saute for a few seconds.
- Then add onions, green chili, ginger-garlic paste, and saute for 2-3 minutes until onions turn soft and light brown – stir regularly.
- Next, add mixed vegetables, mint, and cook for a minute.
- Then add rinsed quinoa, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, and water and mix everything well. Adjust seasoning at this stage.
- Furthermore, close the lid on the pot and set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and timer to 2 minutes.
- After the Instant Pot beeps, Wait for Natural Pressure Release (NPR).
- Lastly, remove the lid from you, squeeze some lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Quinoa & Vegetable Pilaf in Instant Pot is ready. Serve with raita or plain yogurt.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:
- Follow the process mentioned above on a pot. Add mixed vegetables, mint, and cook for a minute.
- After pressure has released naturally, Fluff up the quinoa gently. Lastly, Squeeze some lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Quinoa pulao in a pressure cooker is ready to serve.
Stovetop Pot Method:
- Follow the process mentioned above until step 4 ie Add mixed vegetables, mint and cook for a minute.
- Add 2 cups of water, rinsed quinoa, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and mix well. Let everything come to a boil. Then reduce the flame to low and tightly cover the vessel with a lid. Cook on very low flame until all the water has evaporated. Stir occasionally.
- Then switch off the flame and let it rest covered for at least 10 minutes. Fluff up the quinoa gently and lastly, squeeze some lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Quinoa Pulao Indian recipe is ready. Serve with raita or plain yogurt.
- I usually use Manual/Pressure Cook mode for cooking quinoa. It works perfectly and also takes less time. If you are in a hurry, at least give some time, about 5 minutes, before you release the pressure manually (5 minutes NPR).
- You can also replace quinoa with rice or millets.
- Soaking quinoa is not mandatory. In this recipe, I dint soak the quinoa. But if you have time you can soak for 15-20 minutes and reduce water by ¼ cup.
- Always keep an eye on the time and do not overcook. Quinoa should not be mushy. I like quinoa to be perfectly cooked and separated.
- In this recipe, I have used fresh vegetables. But you can also use frozen vegetables too.
- I kept the spices mild, you can add more spices as per your preference.
SNACK – Roasted Makhana - Recipe Below
- 1 cup Makhana/lotus seeds/Fox Nut
- 1 tsp Ghee
- Salt to taste
- a pinch of Black pepper powder, optional.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
- Add makhana and salt.
- Add black pepper powder.
- Roast on low heat for 4-5 minutes till slightly browned and crispy.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.
SNACK – Blueberries – I always use organic berries and I wash them before packing them into the lunch box.
Prep Work For The Previous Evening
- You can cut the vegetables at the night and refrigerate them in an airtight container.
- You can also prepare roasted makhana previous and store them in an airtight container. It can be served as a snack for adults too.
- Packed in a stainless steel tiffin box called Lunchbots which is Eco-Friendly, Dishwasher Safe, BPA-Free and is easily available on Amazon. Do not use plastic lunch boxes to your kids, they are toxic.
- You can increase or decrease quantity based on your child’s appetite.
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