I’ve been crazy for quinoa lately; I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve been adding it to soups and stews and basically any other dish that could use a grain. It’s fast and nutritious and it just plain tastes good.
One night last week, I needed something healthy that I could get on the table fast, so I decided to treat quinoa like the rice in fried rice. Since quinoa cooks so much faster than brown rice, I was able to put this together in about half an hour and still use a whole grain. I’m not sure how much it tastes like fried rice, but whatever it tastes like, it’s terrific. D and I ate ours with a little (or a lot) Sriracha chili sauce, while E gobbled hers up “as-is.” Besides being quick and tasty, this was an excellent way to use up some of the vegetables in my fridge and a delicious way to get my family to eat their greens.
Vegetable Fried Quinoa
Though I really recommend this mushroom-bok choy-carrot combination, use whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Greens like bok choy really shrink when cooked, so if you substitute another vegetable, do it by weight rather than volume.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (see Note)
- 2 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fat-free vegetable broth
- 12 ounces bok choy — about 6 stalks or 5-6 cups chopped
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 3 ounces firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon black vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- Put the quinoa, water, salt, and 1 clove chopped garlic into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Wash each stalk of bok choy then cut it in two about where the leaves begin. Set the bottom white stalk aside and save for another use. Chop the remaining stalk and greens into bite-sized pieces.
- Lightly spray a large, deep skillet or wok with cooking spray (if you like) and heat it. Assemble the vegetables nearby, along with the vegetable broth and a tablespoon. When the skillet is hot, add the ginger root, garlic, and carrots and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add about 1 tablespoon of the broth and continue to cook and stir for another 2 minutes, adding another splash of broth if the garlic starts to stick or dry out. Add the mushrooms and another tablespoon of broth, and cook another 2 minutes. Add the bok choy and 2 tablespoons of broth, stir, and cover. Cook until the bok choy is tender but still bright green, just a few minutes.
- Crumble the tofu into the vegetable mixture. Mix the soy sauce and vinegar with the remaining broth and pour it over the tofu. Stir and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, just enough to heat the tofu.
- Fluff the cooked quinoa and add it to the vegetables. Mix well, and cook until heated through. Serve with additional soy sauce, hot mustard, or chili sauce at the table.
Most quinoa bought from bulk bins needs to be rinsed well to remove the soapy outer coating. If you’re not sure whether or not your quinoa needs to be rinsed, rinse it anyway. Pour it into a fine mesh strainer and stir it as you run water through it for at least 2 minutes.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Per serving: 213 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (15% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 515mg Sodium; 5g Fiber.
I love using quinoa instead of rice or pasta. If you’re in the mood for quinoa, check out a few of my other keen recipes:
- Quinoa Vegetable Paella
- International Quinoa Salad
- Farmers’ Market Quinoa
- Caribbean Beans and Quinoa