Monday, June 3, 2013

Quinoa Fried "Rice"

I know I know, I went away and you didn't hear anything from me for ages. I'm sorry. Life got REALLY busy and I wasn't cooking or baking or really doing anything but living, breathing, eating anything but WEDDING. 

Holy ridiculous amounts of stress. Let's just stray away from the topic of food for a minute and talk about wedding planning. It doesn't matter how much you have planned, or how many people help you, the week of your wedding, you're going to lose your ever-loving-mind.

Thank goodness for my amazing friends, family and now husband. They all were instrumental in making sure I ate something every once in awhile, didn't find out that the staff was late to set up the tables and deliver the chairs for the reception, and made sure that every detail was exactly how my husband (that still sounds so funny!) and I envisioned it. 

I adore all these people and because of them I have an amazing day to look back on.

Geeky Dude and Me On Our Wedding Day

Now, onwards to the foodstuffs!

There's a lot of hubub about this quinoa stuff....but what is quinoa exactly? Touted as the newest superfood it's often confused as a grain, however it is actually a seed that is grain-like. Confusing, right? Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. It was one of the three staple foods of the Inca civilization along with corn and potatoes. 

The Quinoa Plant
Quinoa contains more protein than any grain; an average of 16.2 percent (though some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein).  To compare, rice has 7.5 percent, millet 9.9 percent and wheat 14 percent.  Quinoa's protein is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to the ideal (similar to milk).  It is also high in lysine, methionine and cysthine. 

Prepping Quinoa After It's Been Removed From the Plant

Amazingly Delicious Quinoa Fried Rice
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes

2 T sesame oil
1 t minced garlic
1 t minced ginger
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 cup shredded carrot
3 to 4 cups cooked quinoa
2 T mirin (rice wine vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
3 eggs
salt + pepper, to taste
extra soy sauce + Sriracha, to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil for 1 minute. Add vegetables and cook until thawed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add quinoa, soy sauce and mirin. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa has absorbed the liquid.
In the middle of your saucepan, push fried quinoa to the side to create a hole. Crack eggs inside the hole and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently mix the quinoa and eggs. Let cook for an additional minute. Mix again. Repeat until egg is completely cooked. Season with salt + pepper.

To serve, portion quinoa fried rice into two bowls and top with Sriracha, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
***Adaptations*** Always add snap peas because snap peas in a stir-fry are amazing. Also, I generally garnish with bean sprouts because they're crunchy and delicious. 

PLEASE NOTE: This is COOKED quinoa. Do not use dry quinoa when making this recipe! It won't taste right (dry and gross!) and you'll have too much quiona. 


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