Every Saturday, Savannah (our 5 year old) and Jordan (our 7 year old) play soccer games.
Because of their age differences, their games always seem to have at least a 2 or 3 hour gap in between their games. Savannah’s games are usually in the morning and Jordan’s games are typically in the early afternoon.
This, essentially, means our family is out at the soccer fields for most of every Saturday.
It’s good times.
To keep up with our healthy eating and spend more time with the kiddos, Dustin and I decided to make a picnic lunch for in between the games. That way, we wouldn’t have to pack everything back up, go out to lunch, then race back for the next game.
Instead, we’d just need to go grab our food from the car, lay it out on the picnic table (aren’t parks the best?), and enjoy a nice, tasty lunch.
Plus: we get to keep our parking space <— BIG bonus.
To be honest, I’m kinda proud of us. I like that we work hard to provide these healthy foods for the kids. I like that we go out of our way to spend special time with the family. This is the stuff I find extremely important and so I want to put my energy towards it when I can.
This soccer season, we’ve been testing out different types of lunches on these Saturday game days. These Quinoa Taco Stackers work perfectly. They’re easy to make, simple to pack, and delicious for a grab and go lunch.
They’re even good cold, if you can believe it (though you should totally heat up if you are able!).
Plus: mason jars. So, you know, there’s that.
If you’d rather not pack in a mason jar, though, we’ve also prepped them in our meal prep containers and transported them in our 6 pack bag which comes in super duper handy when you’re on the go, too.
Quinoa Taco Stackers
So, for all you out there looking for a tasty, easy, and healthy grab and go lunch, I think you’ll enjoy these stackers.
Incidentally, they work great for bringing to work and just storing in the fridge for a dinner later in the week.
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp sea salt plus more - see below
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lb ground buffalo* can use lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/ 8 tsp dried oregano
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15- oz can olives sliced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- To make the quinoa, combine the quinoa with low sodium chicken broth and a little sea salt in a sauce pan. Bring this to a rolling boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and then set aside.
- To make the taco meat, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and add the diced yellow onion. Cook the onion until it starts to sweat and become tender, about 4-6 minutes.
- Add the ground buffalo and break into smaller crumbles.
- Season the buffalo with tomato paste, ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and dried oregano and then stir to mix well.
- Cook until the meat is well-browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
- To assemble the stackers, it’s best to use a quart sized mason jar so all the layers stack nicely.
- Divide the amounts among 4 different mason jars. Start with a layer of the cooked quinoa, followed by some rinsed and drained black beans, then the seasoned buffalo mixture, some sliced black olives, sliced grape tomatoes, and then top it off with a little shredded cheddar cheese.
- You can enjoy right away or store in the fridge for 4-5 days, making it the perfect prep-ahead lunch to bring with you on the go.
- I like to add freshly sliced avocado when I’m ready to enjoy this tasty quinoa taco stacker.
*I like ground buffalo for this recipe because it’s richer in flavor than ground beef, is lower in saturated fat, and is also a good source of nutrients. But you could use ground beef, if you prefer.
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