Quinoa Fried Rice

...And An Order of Quinoa Fried "Rice", Please!

A quick alternative to popular fried rice with quinoa as a substitute.

Hello, Everyone! A huge Thank You to Renee for inviting me to share one of my kitchen adventures with you. This is my new "fried rice" go-to dish since quinoa has all but replaced rice in our house. Its versatility makes it, not only great as a side dish for dinner, but also a wonderfully healthy twist for breakfast and even desserts.  If you haven't already prepared your personal version of this dish, give it a try! I hope you'll love it as much as I do.

Once or twice a year I go through an inexplicable phase where all I want to eat is this slightly salty, but oh so yummy, pork fried rice from my local Chinese food spot for lunch and dinner. It's madness! All the ingredients are right here in my pantry so I could easily whip up a homemade order myself.  Mind you, this indulgence is all mine; I still prepare separate meals for Dex.   Mainly because he won't join me on the carb binge, something about "wanting abs," and "we've been doing so well with the low carbs," and my "always complaining about my love handles," blah...blah. He's right though, plus it really is an unnecessary waste of money.

Then a few months ago my vegan father, a huge fan of quinoa long before this #superfood was deemed trendy, flew into town for a quick visit right around the time my hankerings for "a no. 29 for pick up" were looming. This was going to be a week of eggless quiche, soy bolognese, and experiments with tofu, then it came to me...Quinoa Fried Rice!  Inspired by Cooking for Keeps, I was a little disappointed with myself for not thinking of this earlier, but picked myself up and recognized it as an exciting opportunity to kill 3 issues with 1 1/2 cups of quinoa - I could satisfy dad, share a low-carb dish with Mr. Abs Goals, and stop the take-out cravings.

This revelation was indeed an "aha moment," so look out for the Quinoa Pelau recipe!

Quinoa: Rinse or not to rinse?
So, there are people who don't like quinoa? I'm looking at you @homemadezagat!  Wut...really? Well, if it's the apparent soapy taste that comes from the bitter, natural outer layer of saponins, here's a trick that might help.
When rinsed, that coating of saponins dissolves. Some quinoa packages indicate that this pseudo-grain comes pre-washed, others instruct you to go on ahead and boil straight out of the box.  Either way, give your quinoa a good cold water rinse for about 2 minutes to dissolve the saponins and remove the soapy taste.

Fingers crossed! Because, c'mon...Quinoa!

Quinoa Fried Rice
A quick alternative to popular fried rice with quinoa as a substitute.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: saute entree quinoa
Ingredients (3 - 4 servings)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup baby corn, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped & divided

A quick alternative to popular fried rice with quinoa as a substitute.

The fried "rice" is a quick cook, so make sure you have everything chopped and ready to go, or if you're going all out with your chef persona, have your mise en place (roughly translated to "everything in its place") ready.

    1. Mix soy sauce and sesame oil, and set aside.
    2. Heat wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat.
    3. Add 1/2 amt of oil and crank up heat closer to high.
    4. Add ginger, garlic and 1/2 of the scallions to the oil and cook till fragrant. Stir to keep the aromatics moving, trying not to let them burn.
    5. Add onions celery and diced carrots, cook until onions are just translucent.
    6. Add remaining oil plus the soy sauce/sesame oil mixture, and cook for about a minute.
    7. Fold in the quinoa, vegetables and sauce until well incorporated.
    8. Next goes in the frozen peas and baby corn. Give it another quick mix and cook until the peas are warmed through.
    9. Garnish with the remaining scallion...and there you go.
    10. Grab those chopsticks and dig in!
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A quick alternative to popular fried rice with quinoa as a substitute.
Khiah is a Personal Chef based out of South Florida. She can be easily found on her website, facebook, twitter and instagram. She offers services ranging from meal planning to grocery shopping for families. 

You can get more insight on Khiah from our previous feature: Get to know Khiah of Gotta Have Khiah

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