Cheap weekday eats: vegetables and lemon quinoa + oil pulling

Another week, another batch of cheap bulk lunches! This time round it’s tumeric-lemon quinoa with frozen veggies cooked in coconut and sesame oils.

This was actually a good lesson for me as I measured the quinoa and learned that my ‘eye’ is quite out in terms of servings! I cooked just under 2 cups of dry quinoa, and it made about 3.5 cups of cooked. I used a half-cup to measure it into my waiting batch of food containers and it seems to my eye that I have very little quinoa in my red Tupperware containers and plenty in the cheap re-used takeaway containers! I think I’ll be using measurements from now on to ensure consistent serving sizes!


  • Just under 2 cups organic tri-colour royal quinoa (dry)
  • The juice of 1/2 a lemon (next time I’ll use a full lemon)
  • A few good shakes of turmeric
  • 3 x 500g frozen vegetables (Heinz ‘Shanghai stir fry mix with carrot, beans, snow peas, broccoli, onion, etc.) – I got 3 for $2 so this was good value!
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • The juice of another lemon
  • Note: this is emptying out the freezer and cupboard – if I had them, I’d add a generous serve of chilli flakes and maybe some crushed peanuts. I’d also add some tofu, tempeh or baked fish.


  • Cook quinoa in a rice cooker with juice of 1/2 lemon and tumeric.
  • Cook veggies on a low heat, with coconut oil and sesame oil (I usually stick to one oil per meal, but meh!) and soy sauce. Once veggies are cooked while still a bit crunchy, take off the heat and add to quinoa. Squeeze with the second batch of lemon juice. Done-ski!

Makes: 6 servings, plus two spare servings of quinoa (hubby ate them it so I couldn’t incorporate them into the final recipe!)


My side note: I became aware of ‘oil pulling’ early last year after reading Jess Ainscough’s article on the wonderful Wellness Warrior site: but was too worried about my gag reflex to actually implement it. A fellow WordPress blogger is documenting her foray into oil pulling (I have searched and searched but can’t seem to find her blog – I wanted to give her a ‘shout out’!) and it re-triggered my interest.

A quick Google search showed that it’s a super-hot topic right now, especially on blogs! There are a huge number of benefits listed by various internet sources, some of which I think are logical and legitimate, some of which I think are stretching plausibility. My teeth, after a ‘perfect’ childhood, have started deteriorating (fillings suck!) and this is one of my major attractions to oil pulling -as another ‘weapon’ in the arsenal of dental / mouth hygiene. Whenever I become particularly stressed and run down I get tooth infections (my troublesome wisdom teeth, which I cannot afford to get removed) which lead to throat infections, and I’d love to be able to stop this.

For anyone living under a rock, oil pulling is an ancient Aruryvedic ritual where you swish about a tablespoon of a natural oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes. The purpose is to literally ‘pull’ or collect bacteria, fungi and toxins from your mouth (the first line of defense in infection control!) and to expel them – via the trash or the yard, rather than your pipes, to prevent clogging, though I very much doubt that would be an issue in our blistering Queensland heat at the moment! The link between dental health and cardiovascular health is well documented; the efficacy of oil pulling is significantly less so. That said, I couldn’t see any potential danger and only potential benefits, so I decided to give it a go.

So… I poured some of my organic, cold pressed coconut oil into a small bowl and took my first sip. I knew I wouldn’t be able to last 20 minutes (strong gag reflex!) so poured a fair bit more than needed. Surprisingly, after that first short bout – where I sipped up too much oil – I found it quite tolerable. It took my four separate mouthfuls of oil to complete my 20 mins but I suspect that I will manage to do it in one or two goes quite soon. I will say that it ‘cleared me up’ a bit – to be specific and gross, I brought  up a fair bit of phlegm afterwards – and that I did feel that a fair bit of ‘debris’ was expelled alongside the used oil. On the negative side, my husband thought I was a lunatic, and for about 30 mins afterward I felt a persistent and unusual need to spit, despite rinsing my mouth repeatedly and cleaning my teeth.

This morning I woke up (no word of a lie!) to whiter teeth, one of the claims that I thought was bollocks! I’m going to try and repeat this each night, as both a dental health exercise, and a way to signal to my body “end of the day – no more food, no more wine”. I’ve been excusing my over-indulgence in red wine lately due to the stresses of renovating, selling our house, flirting with repossession (not in a good way!) and work, but I really need to rein it in. I know the ritual is traditionally done in the morning on an empty stomach, but hey – 20 minutes in the morning is better spent sleeping!

Peace and namaste xo


5 thoughts on “Cheap weekday eats: vegetables and lemon quinoa + oil pulling

  1. Isn’t this interesting? You’re the second person talking about oil pulling. Last week one of my colleagues told me about it and swears by it, saying her she and hubby does it daily religiously. She also said that they have whiter teeth now! How do you feel after doing this for about a month now? After reading your post, I totally believe it even more, and will give it a try very soon. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂

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