Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

I make this – or a variation on this – quite often for lunch later in the week, when I’ve got leftovers kicking around in the fridge, am out of my main protein, and still have some of this week’s spinach hanging around that is quickly going to age itself right out of my fridge.

For this version, I resisted the temptation to go Southeast Asian like usual (this dish 99.9% of the time turns out vaguely Japanese), and went Indian instead. I’m glad I broke out of my comfort zone a little and I think I’ll make this again on purpose for dinner some night.

gluten-free, lacto-ovo vegetarian

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

1 cup leftover basmati rice

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons sesame or mustard oil

1/2 inch fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 big hand full spinach


Crispy chickpeas (these are my favorite)

1 green chili

To reheat your rice – any rice – without it drying out, add a Tablespoon or two of water, put the lid back on really loosely and zap in the microwave for :45 to 1:00. Boom. Steamed and refreshed rice.

Fry the eggs to your liking in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding a liberal sprinkle of turmeric when you flip. Add the spinach on top of that to wilt a couple seconds while the yolks finish setting to your desired doneness (I love a good runny yolk, so I separated my whites from yolks, scooted them to the side and added the spinach more to that side so I could see to yank the yolks when they were just barely set).

Grate the ginger and garlic into the rice.

Mince the chili (de-seeding if necessary) and add to the rice.

Add the eggs on top, along with a small hand of the crispy chickpeas.

Stir to combine.

Serves 1 for lunch

Mushroom Pea Pasta

Yep, it’s the middle of January, and yep, I’m craving green things. This recipe is quick to put together, can be dressed up in a bunch of different ways, and keeps like a champ for leftovers.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian

Mushroom Pea Pasta

4 servings of your favorite pasta (I used a standard penne, but my favorite rice fusilli would be great here and chickpea or paleo pastas would also be great – shiritaki would even work, if you’re keto or low carb)

8-12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Neutral oil


2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Avocado

1/2 c. frozen peas

1 c. frozen spinach

500g. protein of choice

Garlic powder

Onion powder


Salt & pepper

Nutritional yeast (optional but adds a bit of a cheesy taste)

Set your pasta water (generously salted) to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions. Drain and set aside in a large bowl if ready before the rest of your ingredients.

While the pasta is working, brown your protein in a bit of neutral oil – season with salt and pepper and set aside in the large bowl.

To the pan, add your chopped mushrooms, 2 tsp. neutral oil and 2 tsp. butter. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through and a bit browned. Season with 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. onion powder, salt & pepper.

While the mushrooms are going, defrost your peas & spinach.

Chop your herbs and avocado – chuck into the big bowl.

When the mushrooms are ready, add to the big bowl.

Add the peas & 1 tsp. neutral oil to the pan. Sauté until just beginning to brown. Add the spinach. Season with 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, salt & pepper. Sauté until the spinach is cooked through and the water has evaporated.

Add the green veg to the bowl.

Brown 2 Tbsp. butter in the pan and pour over the top of the pasta and veggies. Toss with 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast.

Serve topped with more nutritional yeast if desired.

Serves 4

Roasted Beet & Chard Greens aka “CSA Cleanup”

Did you get a mess of beets in your CSA box this week? Want to know what to do with all those random greens? Roast them! This recipe saves beautifully and leftovers can be re-worked a million different ways. Just think of them like spinach. Would spinach be good here? Like, say, tucked into an omelette or as a nice burger topper? Yes? Use a hand full of these greens instead!

Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30


Roasted Beet & Chard Greens aka “CSA Cleanup”

A boatload of greens – I used the tops of 1 large bunch of beets + 1 bunch of rainbow chard (8 cups or so total)
Garlic – I used 10 cloves
Fat – I used a drizzle of olive oil because that’s what I had. Bacon fat would be luurvely here.
Salt & pepper
Optional: citrus juice or preserved lemon

Set your oven to 375. Prep your largest baking sheet with a foil liner.

Wash your greens and slice into inch or so thick ribbons. Arrange on the prepped baking sheet as evenly as possible.

Chop your garlic roughly and sprinkle over the greens.

Drizzle with fat.

Salt and pepper liberally.

Roast 20-30 minutes, or until the greens are slumpy and the garlic is beginning to brown.

Serve. These greens are fantastic with a shot of citrus juice or some preserved lemon.

Makes 2 huge dinner servings if you’re using these greens as the “bulk” of your meal or a bunch of little additions for other meals. 

Quinoa with Southern Greens, Eggs, and Carrot-Corriander Vinaigrette

This is one of those recipes that started with an idea and snowballed from there. I was reading Shauna Ahern’s post on Gluten Free Girl and the Chef about what salad meant during her childhood vs. what it means now, and was struck with the regional and generational similarities between her childhood idea of salad and mine. For her in California in the 70s, salad meant iceburg lettuce, tomatoes, croutons and Ranch dressing. For me in Ohio in the 80s, salad meant much the same – iceburg, crappy tomatoes, maybe some cucumber if you’re lucky, definitely some cheese, probably bacon bits, always croutons, and a big heaping helping of French or Catalina dressing.

Now, for the both of us (and it seems the nation as a whole, by and large), salad means much, much more. I eat some variation on a salad at least once a week for dinner and usually twice or more for lunch, and not even generally a lettuce-based variety.

I was also looking for a great quinoa main for the week and the vinaigrette sounded like an interesting new take on familiar ingredients. I stuck mainly to her ingredient suggestions for the ‘salad’ itself, subbing and adding as my pantry allowed. The vinaigrette I didn’t monkey with – over the years I have come to trust her vision regarding taste building (especially with sauces). I’m thinking about possible additions, but nothing is really resonating – I might add some smoke next time through cumin or chili powder because I’m on a smoke kick; but the vinaigrette is great without that note.


Quinoa with Southern Greens & Eggs

1 c. quinoa
2 c. chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
3 c. mixed Southern greens (collards, turnip greens, mustard greens)
1/4 c. pine nuts
4 eggs
1/2 avocado
1/4 c. or so Carrot-Coriander Vinaigrette (see below)
Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa and add to a medium pot with the stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and curlicues open up.

Add your eggs to a small to medium pot and cover with water (cover + 1 inch). Put over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, cover, and turn off the heat. Let sit 8 minutes. When the eggs are cool enough to deal with, peel and cut into quarters.

Wash, de-stem and chop your greens roughly. Bring a large pot of water about half full up to a boil. Add a palm of salt and the greens. Boil 5 minutes and drain.

In a small dry pan, toast the pine nuts until browned.

As your ingredients are ready (minus the eggs), add to a large bowl. When everything is there (minus the eggs and avocado), toss to combine. Chop the avocado and add to the bowl, along with the vinaigrette. Toss and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or dressing as needed. Spoon into a bowl and top with egg quarters.

Carrot-Coriander Vinaigrette

2 tsp. coriander seeds
2 c. carrot juice
1 medium shallot
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
3/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

For instructions, see the original post from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef