Heidi Swanson, she of edible-flower-topped quinoa-based recipes fame, always manages to make her bowls look appealing. I have no clue how she does it.
Exhibit A: The most awesome dish ever – healthy, brimming with taste and texture, office lunch friendly (aka cook on Sunday, eat till Friday). Unfortunately, it looks like things based on quinoa and lentils should look, which is to say, beige-brown and a bit mushy. The brighter buttons among you will have noticed that the illustration below is not what you’d call a photorealistic representation of the dish, and that’s why.
Cook one part lentils, one part quinoa in salted water. For the last five minutes, add “flower sprouts” on top – a brussel sprout / kale hybrid, either of which would work just as well, as would broccoli – and steam the cruciferous vegetable of your choice for the last 5 mins of quinoa cooking time. Let it cool down, stir in tahine paste. Add a dab of harisssa and/or sambal oelek for a bit of spice, or ladle it on, like I do. Squeeze lots of lemon juice over it. Add thai basil (regular would do, too) and half an avocado.
Don’t fuss about adding sprouts or flowers, it ain’t gonna help. Perhaps if you used yellow or red lentils…? Remind yourself that inner beauty counts, and enjoy.