As I am always trying to eat less animal protein, I have begun to really get into Quinoa. I will prepare a batch and use it within a few days to make a Quinoa Tabbouleh, or mixed into my morning oatmeal, or simply dressed with ghee for a comfort food dinner. That last idea was given to me by a healthy-eating coworker who has fallen in love with this Quinoa powerhouse of protein, thank you Debbie!
I try to think up ideas to use the quinoa in place of couscous or rice in recipes. So yesterday, having a mix of stir fry veggies on hand, I decided to try making a veggie fried quinoa…obviously instead of fried rice. Whenever making a fried rice dish, the rice must be made ahead and be chilled; therefore, my chilled quinoa would be perfect. And the results were very good. I simply followed on of my basic fried rice recipe and replaced quinoa for rice! While I did a vegetarian version, adding shrimp or chicken or pork would work just as well. And, for those watching their gluten, this dish is gluten-free!
Veggie Fried Quinoa
1 cup cooked quinoa, cold (see below for how to)
2 eggs, lightly beaten or 4 egg whites (omit for vegan)
2 teaspoons peanut oil or safflower oil
2 cups trimmed and sliced mixed veggies, all cut uniformly into 1-inch pieces
(I used broccoli, snow peas, cabbage and carrots. Other options include asparagus, red bell pepper, fresh or frozen peas)
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Hot red pepper sauce, to taste
Optional: top with chopped cashew or peanuts
Prep all veggies and measure all ingredients ahead of time to ensure a quick stir fry.
Heat a large skillet or wok with 1 teaspoon peanut oil to medium high heat. Pour in eggs and cook, stirring gently, until just set, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and chop finely.
Heat remaining teaspoon of peanut oil and add broccoli and carrots, cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add cabbage, snow peas, ginger and garlic stirring until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice to stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and vinegar to the pan; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Fold in the cooked eggs. Remove from the heat; stir in sesame oil and hot sauce. Taste and adjust to preference with additional tamari sauce and/or pepper. Top with chopped cashews or peanuts if using. Serve hot.
Cooking Quinoa: In a fine metal strainer, rinse the quinoa well. This step is important to rinse off the residue. Like rice, I use a 1:2 ratio, i.e., 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. Water is normally used, but I have used vegetable or chicken broth as well. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer between 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to sit for about five minutes, fluff and serve!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.