Friday, July 5, 2013

Quinoa Fried Rice

I am very excited to share this recipe with you, because it is awesome.  And you might have your doubts about it (why do I feel like I say that about 80% of my meals!?) but you are just going to have to trust me on this: quinoa fried rice is amazing.  Technically, it's called quinoa fried "rice," because there is actually no rice in the recipe at all (although my mom was fooled and thought there was a mixture of quinoa and rice!).  It's fried rice made with quinoa and lots of vegetables, and it is absolutely delicious, extremely flavorful, full of protein, and way healthier than fried rice made with regular (boring) old white rice.  Doubters, read on.

See the spirals?
I made this recipe when I was home alone and it was about 90 degrees.  Turning on the stove made me feel like crying, but I just knew it was going to be worth it.  I had to cook the quinoa, which has a similar process to cooking rice; bring it all to a boil ad then let it simmer on low for 20 minutes.  You'll know it is done when you see little spirals on the quinoa (I've looked this up, and the spirals are the quinoa's germ unfurling... not germs as in bacteria!)  Then you mix up the sauce, which is made from teriyaki and soy sauces with some sesame oil (oh how I love sesame oil).  The vegetables include onion, carrots, garlic, scallions, and fresh ginger, and you also scramble a couple eggs in there in the end; it is kind of funny that the recipe says to do everything for 2 minutes too (once the quinoa is cooked, the rest of the cooking flies by!  Cook onions and carrots for 2 minutes... then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes... 2 minutes more once the sauce is added.... etc.).  You end up with an extremely filling, healthy, flavorful meal with way better texture than rice anyway.

I will confess that I had a scrambled egg issue and instead of ending up with those little pieces of egg you see in fried rice, my eggs disappeared.  Still not sure what the heck I did, but really they were completely hidden.  Mark, who apparently hates eggs (since when, I say!) claimed he could taste them still, but I thought they were gone except for the fact that they added some more protein.

My quinoa-hating mother admitted to really liking this dinner, and like I said, she was surprised to hear it was made without any rice at all.  Rachael really liked it, especially the fact that it was a healthier version than the regular fried rice.  And I will come clean and say that I ate it every single day until it was gone... and I bought more quinoa yesterday so I can have some more soon!

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture...

quinoa fried "rice"
from Cooking for Keeps

serves 4

1 cup quinoa (or 2 1/2 - 3 cups cooked quinoa)
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock (I used water)
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 scallions, chopped and divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs, lightly scrambles (still raw)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 1/2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/3 teaspoon sesame oil


1) Rinse quinoa a few times in cold water.

2) Bring quinoa and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer.  Season with salt.

3) Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through.  Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes or so.  Fluff with a fork.

4)  Cool and store in the fridge, preferably overnight (I didn't).

5) Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.

6)  Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan over a high heat.  Add onion and carrot and cook, about 2 minutes.  Add 2 scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pan.  Cook another 2 minutes.  Add in the rest of the olive oil and the quinoa.  Stir fry about 2 minutes.  Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Make a well in the center of the quinoa; pour eggs in and scramble.  Throw in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through.  Add remaining scallion and serve.

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