Quinoa Salad 5 Minute Packable Lunch

Another day, another 5 minute packable lunch! Because as we discovered the other day, the best way to stay healthy while busy is to stay prepared. :)

Quick healthy packed lunch

For my main course, I had some leftover Zesty Kumquat Quinoa Salad with some cannellini beans mixed in.

Kumquat Quinoa Salad with Beans

I love revamping leftovers, and the cannellini beans were a perfect addition to this salad — they mixed well with the bright citrus flavors and added some extra fiber and staying power, too!


Along with my quinoa salad, I had a small mixed greens, tomato, and avocado salad with a little baggie of dressing:



Plus an apple and some carrots:

002 005 For my afternoon snack, I packed a Chobani pomegranate yogurt along with a little baggie of some raw oats mixed with Kashi Heart to Heart cereal:


Don’t forget the silverware (and a napkin!):


Yum :) A packed lunch can be so much more satisfying than an expensive store-bought one if you just get a little creative!

I’m excited because my college roommate Turner is coming to visit me this weekend! She flies in later today and it should be really fun showing her around Chapel Hill and campus this weekend — and having an excuse to explore a bit more myself, too!


I’m off to class now, but a few of you were asking the other day for more details about some of my classes, so here’s a little overview of one I had yesterday:

Medical Nutrition Therapy I: Chronic Diseases

  • This class is the first part in preparing us for our clinical (hospital) internships, over the summer of 2012. We’ll be learning how to:
    • Screen individuals for nutritional risk
    • Interpret medical terminology and lab parameters related to nutrition (intense!)
    • Calculate and interpret nutrient composition of foods
    • Calculate/plan appropriate diets for chronic health conditions (diabetes, celiac disease, etc.)
    • Identify common nutrient pitfalls of those with chronic health conditions

It’s basically a mini-med school with a nutrition slant. Nutrition is much more tied into everything than you might think, and it should be a really interesting class, although certainly challenging. Yesterday we learned about GI Disorders. I feel like this class is one of the HUGE differences between “nutritionists” and actual Registered Dietitians! Part II of the course will be regarding Acute Illness, and will take place in the fall. This coming summer we have our public health related internship.

I’ll explain the rest of my classes, too, if you guys are interested? And speaking of school — I forgot to mention I went to my very first UNC sporting event on Tuesday night!


UNC Men’s Basketball vs. Clemson! Since I went to undergrad at such a tiny school (Dickinson College — love), it’s cool to be at a school where there’s huge televised sporting events going on! I can’t WAIT for March Madness ;)


p.s. Fun fact — the first (and only other) time I’ve been in this basketball stadium, I was 12 or 13 and at a Smashing Pumpkins concert! They were my favorite band at the time (along with Garbage — who was their opener! fate, right?) and we lived about an hour and a half away — I was dyyyyyying to go, so my mom took me :) At first I was totally embarrassed that my mom wouldn’t let me go by myself (but seriously, how the heck would I have gotten here on my own?!), but once I got here and saw all the scary old college kids I was totally glad ;) It was an AWESOME concert, although we were up in the nosebleed section!

What was your first concert?


  1. 1

    Yay, garbage!

    Now that’s old school, I think you’re getting old.

  2. 3

    You have gotten me totally hooked on Greek yogurt. That’s the only kind I buy anymore. Fat free of course and I add my own fresh blueberries.So glad I had the courage to try Greek yogurt. Thanks

    • 4

      I’m really dating myself. I saw Elvis in person six time. I was a follower.

      • 5

        You saw Elvis in PERSON!?!?! That’s SO cool!

        • 6

          Yes I did and I have one of his scarves that he tossed into the audience and I had it framed and it is in our den on My wall.Ohhhhhhhhh how I loooooooved that man. It is also signed by Elvis, but I think he had bunches of them he tossed, in fact I know he did. I didn’t care, it had his sweat on it. Hahaha. My kids think I’m nuts.

  3. 7

    quinoa + beans = awesome protein!

    My first concert was seeing davy jones (from the monkees) when I was about 10 in 1993…it was pretty groovy.

  4. 8

    I also went to a really small undergrad and then went to the University of Georgia for my grad work – I loved going to the football, basketball and gymnastic meets. Fun to go to a school with big sports!

    I almost always pack my lunch or dinner – I completely agree with the cost savings and taste.

  5. 9

    I saw your quinoa salad yesterday but did not have a chance to comment – it looks great and makes for an awesome repurposed lunch. I need to get my packable lunches down to 5 minutes – mine take more like 10, usually because I make a smoothie many days.

  6. 10

    PS – also I post all my lunchboxes to be all in one picture, and I think I may try the separate pictures approach. Sometimes it is hard to crowd it all in one picture.

  7. 11

    My first concert I ever went to was Janet Jackson in the 90s. She was awesome. And now she’s performing at the Houston Rodeo in March. Totally random, but I’m excited!

  8. 13

    One of my favorite things in school was to see what all of us RD-to-be students packed for lunch. Always healthy and interesting! Enjoy your MNT class. It is intense but SO interesting.

  9. 14

    I love a hearty leftover lunch! Yours looks delish :)

    p.s. I gave you the stylish blogger award because you are, well, fabulous and I’ve learned a lot from you. Check out my post today to accept and nominate your favorites, too! xoxo

  10. 16

    i remember that smashing pumpkins tour! my sister went and i wasn’t allowed, i was so jealous! my first concert was boyzone…LOL!

  11. 18

    I swear, I really need to try quinoa sometime! My first concert was NKOTB – just might have been the most exciting experience of my childhood. My little sister even got me tickets to see them for my 30th birthday! Best.Birthday.EVER. (And I will admit, the concert was much more fun as an adult than the one I went to as a pre-teen!)

  12. 20

    love the salad in a yogurt cup idea!

  13. 21

    That quinoa salad looks great.

    I’m almost too ashamed to admit this, but my first concert was The Backstreet Boys. Yes, yes it was.

  14. 23

    I remember how much work MNT was, and I thought I’d never remember it all, but then all of a sudden you’re in the hospital and all that stuff is SO important and you somehow can remember it all with your patients. Good luck!

  15. 24

    Your class sounds SUPER interesting! I would love to hear about your other classes too! (I’ll admit it, I’m really interested because I’m looking into UNC for grad school!)

    My first concert was Black Eyed Peas on my 16th Birthday! :D Haha… it was fun.

  16. 25

    Growing up in the Midwest, of course my first concert was a country singer: Garth Brooks! But he was AWESOME!

  17. 26

    Gosh our lunch packing routines are so similar – always include silverware, always pack and apple and afternoon snacks!
    And my first concert was Backstreet Boys! MMHMM!!

  18. 27

    My first concert was Ani DiFranco. I loved her SO MUCH in high school. Her concerts were always very small, so it was awesome to watch her play while standing only a few feet from her.

  19. 28

    i love quinoa, I had that for lunch today :-)

  20. 29

    Aren’t college basketball games fun?! I’d love to hear about your other classes. I agree – there’s no set definition for a “nutritionist,” and I always have to explain the difference between a nutritionist and RD to people.

  21. 30

    What an interesting subject for your classes! I would love to hear more about it and what an RD can do for someone with those issues.

    I have Crohn’s disease and am considering whether I would benefit from a referral to a dietician. When I’m flaring and dropping weight fast (like now) its really hard to know what to eat and do for the best.

  22. 32

    I LOOOOOVE college basketball games! I miss going to them!! Soon enough, when I’m in acadeem again, I’ll be there! :) and that lunch looks amazing, I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had a chance to cook enough at night for leftovers!

  23. 33

    Thank you so much for the info on your class! That all sounds so interesting to me! I can’t wait to get out of undergrad and start doing all that fun stuff!

  24. 34

    I saw Blues Traveler at the Aragon Ballroom here in Chicago when I was in 8th grade. It was awesome. We got my friend Kiki who was about 4’5″ to crowd surf. It was the first time I saw someone throw up from drunkenness. At one point I went to the concession stand and bought a hot dog with the sole purpose of throwing it into the crowd.
    Good times.

  25. 35

    My first concert was Hanson! They were just sooo cool ;)

  26. 36

    I just started reading your blog and absolutely love it! I’m currently an undergrad majoring in marketing and minoring in health and industry, and planning on pursuing my masters in nutrition upon graduation!:) I would love to hear more about the classes you are taking and any advice you have in picking a school because as of right now I’m not sure where I want to apply! Thank you so much!

  27. 37

    Love your lunches — and great that you could see a Tarheel basketball game! And interesting trip down memory lane, too… Fun! (But, what was the score of the game? Assume the ‘Heels won?) Bring on March madness, indeed… Have fun with Turner!

  28. 39

    you have the best lunch packing skills! i usually bring a PB&J when i have to pack my lunch, haha..

  29. 40

    Yay thanks for posting these lunch ideas!! I pack my lunch 5 days a week and ALWAYS need some suggestions :)

  30. 41

    My first concert was New Kids on the Block. Yes, I am admitting it! I think I was around 10 or 11.

  31. 42

    My first concert was at a local state fair…the band Alabama. I was in middle school, I think.

    And how cool that you went to Dickinson. I live in York…not too far away!

  32. 43

    You will be COMPLETELY hooked to March Madness…just hope the Heels can pull through!
    My first concert was Dave Matthew’s. It was back in middle school and he wasn’t huge yet so it was in Savannah’s seated civic center…imagine that now! It was also only Dave and Tim Reynolds, who sometimes still tours with him. So I guess the first whole band concert was Widespread Panic, also in Savannah, but not seated :)

  33. 44

    My first concert was New Kids on the Block and Tiffany in 198?. I must have been eight or nine and I sure loved them.

  34. 45

    my first concert was john mayer with guster as the opening act. i was 17! i can’t believe how old i was when i went to my FIRST concert.

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