I’m a fan of turning leftovers into something special. Using leftovers saves cooking time and making it special gives you variety. So here is today’s meal based on some leftover quinoa-lentils mixture and some leftover turkey from another meal. I threw in some extras and had a wonderful lunch in about 5 minutes.

Gluten free / dairy free

Here is what you need (serves one)

  • some left over quinoa (I had previously made some that I mixed with some orange lentils)
  • some left over turkey breast (cooked in the oven for about 40 minutes on another night) – I had 3 very thin slices
  • a hand full of fresh basil
  • a good tbs of pine kernels
  • 1 – 2 tbs of olive oil
  • a good hand full of samphire (sea asparagus, in Dutch: zeekraal, I get it in the Delhaize in the fish section)
  • a hand full of cherry tomatoes
  • lettuce leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt

Here is how you make it:

  • Put the basil, pine kernels and olive oil together with some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt in a small blender and blend with a few short pulses (I liked it coarse rather than as a smooth paste)
  • Cut a few thin slices of the cold turkey breast and spread the pesto onto the slices
  • Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan, add the quinoa
  • Wash the samphire and cut it into smaller pieces, add to the quinoa
  • Add some black pepper and a little bit of the pesto (be sure not to add salt as the samphire is quite salty)
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and just before you are ready to serve throw them in with the quinoa as well
  • Arrange some lettuce leaves on one half of your plate, place the turkey slices next to the lettuce and then spoon the quinoa mixture over the lettuce
  • If you like a little more moisture, you can sprinkle the quinoa with some olive oil


This meal gives you

  • healthy fat
  • fiber
  • protein
  • and lots of good stuff that comes with the samphire. It grows near the sea and is rich in iodine and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silica and zinc. It also high in vitamin A and C and contains some of the B vitamins. In addition samphire is full of phytonutrients. It does not seem to be a well known sea plant and it wasn’t easy to find the nutritional information on it. Check out this page for more information. Iodine is very important for a well functioning Thyroid, the gland that controls our metabolism, temperature and even our mood. Samphire is a tasty and natural way to increase your iodine intake.

Extra tip

The cold turkey with some homemade pesto also makes a great healthy snack :-).