Preserved Lemon Quinoa with Shaved Brussels, Toasted Walnuts

So we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year, which is the time everyone resolves to eat better, get fit, improve their relationships and financial situations, and find an occupation with purpose.

Not one for resolutions myself, I am fond of the clean slate idea. A new year for a more intentional way of living. For me, while I do well feeding my family and friends – I even named my own website to that end – I find it more difficult to take care of myself.

I am more than capable of packing up four separate lunches for the kids and sending them out the door, but when it comes to tearing myself away from work and my to-do list at lunchtime, I am prone to simple snacking or skipping it altogether. It’s almost as if I associate the care and feeding of myself as a social activity best done with others.

Photo by Shaina Olmanson |
Unfortunately for my family, hunger makes me irritable. I know I’m a better wife and mother when I take better care of myself, and so this year I am working on being more intentional with my lunchtime habits. No more handfuls of nuts and berries eaten in front of the computer screen with a cup of tea or a piece of whatever baked good might be sitting on the counter leftover from something else. (Not that there is anything wrong with those things. I just rely on them far too frequently.)

Instead, I’m going to attempt to actually get up and make myself a proper meal more often. Starting with this one.

My favorite part about this dish is that it can be made with simple things I have in my pantry and refrigerator. There’s no special planning that goes into it. The Brussels sprouts are just a handful, pulled out from the family dinner stores, and they can easily be replaced with other greens or vegetables that you may have on hand. I think kale would be particularly nice here.

The preserved lemons add a bit of brightness to this dish, contrasting with the nuttiness of the quinoa and the earthy flavors of the Brussels. Topped off with a bit of creamy goat cheese, this is definitely a lunch worth taking a break for.


Preserved Lemon Quinoa with Shaved Brussels, Toasted Walnuts

4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Servings: 1 large bowl
Calories: 814kcal


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup walnuts halved
  • 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 preserved lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese (we like a generous tablespoon!)


  • In a small saucepan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the quinoa and stir to coat. Toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Once the water and quinoa is boiling, clover, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes. When the time is up, remove the pan from the heat but leave the cover on.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add in the walnuts and toast lightly. Add the Brussels sprouts and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • While the Brussels are cooking, remove the seeds from the preserved lemon. Scrape the insides from the rinds. Thinly chop the rinds and add them to the Brussels sprouts. Take the pulp and chop it finely. Stir the pulp, cumin, and the cayenne into the quinoa.
  • Season the Brussels sprouts with the salt and stir them into the quinoa. Plate. Dot with small bits of goat cheese and enjoy.


Calories: 814kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 2407mg | Potassium: 778mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 38.4mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 5.9mg


Are you good at lunch? What do you fix for yourself?

About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

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  1. I like the clean slate idea too! This recipe is lovely!

  2. Thank you, Shaina. I am always looking for new quinoa recipes…this one looks wonderful!

  3. Love this idea! I only really have 2 recipes for Quinoa… as a fairly uninspired side/ herbed bed for something else to lay on (Like a big slab of meat if hubby gets his way) , or as a chilled summer salad with tomato and vinegrette. Love this seasonal idea!
    My usual go-to for lunch is warmed up leftovers 🙂 usually shared with my 2 kids (ages 4 and 21 months). It’s been a lot of soup lately.

    • I love leftovers as lunch! Unfortunately, with six of us, I generally am the one that gets left out of the leftover lineup. Soup is definitely a favorite! Sometimes if I make enough of it, everyone else gets sick of soup and I get the leftovers!

  4. My go-to is an egg when there’s nothing to just grab. Not terrible at all, but really, we could do so much better at the care and feeding of ourselves, at least some of the time, right?

  5. This looks great. I can see lots of good things going into this to make it work for me. Excellent base for kale and garlic. Yum. Might just have to make it this next week.

  6. It seems to be a great dish. I will definitely try it once.

  7. 5 stars
    looking delicious i want to try it form my family…

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and I’m crazy about it! It’s already made it into the regular recipe rotation – yum!

  9. Akshay Nimbalkar says

    4 stars
    aaahhhh !! …. its looking so testy
    i told my mom to make this Preserved Lemon Quinoa with Shaved Brussels, Toasted Walnuts
    Thank you for this yuuummyyy recipe

  10. I definitely need to join you on picking up better eating habit throughout the day. This sounds so delicious and is something that would satisfy me for lunch 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    That dish looks delicious. Lets see if I can make it delicious too.

  12. Your recipe is being featured in a collection of preserved lemon dishes on Simple Living and Eating. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week.

  13. Thank you for this great recipe! I had some preserved lemons I put up 6 months ago for the first time and needed recipes to use them when I found yours. I subbed broccoli for Brussels sprouts as that’s what I had and subbed parm for goat cheese. Just delicious and light! I will definitely make this again. I had never toasted quinoa with oil before…always just alone and I think it tastes much better with the olive oil ~ so thanks!!!

  14. 5 stars
    I love this, I’ve made it a few times, I needed something to use up a whole jar of preserved lemons! I double the veggies, sub asparagus, kale, farro, etc. It’s simple but the flavor combination is so unique.

    • Did anyone else find that a teaspoon of salt was way too much?? I did not rinse my lemons first so maybe that was why?

  15. I made this last night and LOVED it! We make quinoa on a regular basis and this was a great way to change things up. The balance of crunchy nuts/brussel sprouts, slight heat, light citrus, and earthy goat cheese is perfect! 10/10 will definitely make again!

  16. Mrs. Washington says

    Thank you for this wonderful, light recipe! I had a jar of preserved lemons in my pantry and never knew what to do with them. After opening and tasting (duh!) I knew exactly where I would use them…

    The quinoa, brussel sprout, preserved lemon is so simple, so satisfying, and so nutritious. The goat cheese topper seals the deal.

    The ONLY thing I added was a sprinkling of pomegranate crasins on top. YUMMO!!!

  17. Angela Oliver says

    Very good. Make sure to rinse quinoa and lightly oil it to prevent sticking together.

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