One of my favorite genres of food is Chinese! Back in the day of eating like and animal (and eating animal), I would chow down on Chinese food and fried rice like it was a main staple to nourishment. Do you remember Bestie? She had friends in town this weekend from Michigan and we all went out to dinner at a place called Geisha a Go Go. We all ordered sushi, but her friend Molly only likes California rolls. So she also ordered a bowl of fried rice. Molly was so kind to share her rice with everyone at the table….. it tasted pretty damn good. And thus, the inspiration for today’s post was born! While Molly’s fried rice from Geisha a Go Go tasted really good, it was no walk in a healthy park. But my obsession with fried rice had reared it’s tasty head.
I need to take a quick break to say Happy Birthday to my little pup, Chloe. My sweet, fun-loving and loyal girl turns 8 years old today! And might I add she doesn’t look a day over 2? : ) She’ll always be my puppy. Happy Birthday, Chloe!
Back to the fried rice obsession…. I’m sure you were left drooling. So where was I…. Rice. Rice is a grain and grains are good for you. BUT, quinoa is a much better alternative to rice because it’s higher in fiber and protein. Yes, protein! Quinoa Un-Fried Rice will be your new swap…. turning into the one and only thought when you crave fried rice! This dish is also better for you because I have added fresh grated ginger into the mix! Ginger is known as an anti-inflammatory and to ease stomach distress. (I actually eat it pretty consistently whether in a smoothie, a chew from Whole Foods, or pickled, like the kind served with sushi..so good!) On top of the protein from the quinoa, the egg that you find in typical fried rice adds even more protein, making this Quinoa Un-Fried Rice a well rounded meal!
Which brings us to Vegan Ashley…. girlfriend you can just omit the egg and BAM! This dish will be Vegan Ashley approved. : ) For the carnivores, I recommend adding shrimp, chicken or pork for your perfect restaurant style fried rice.
A couple things to note…. PLEASE take note….
Number 1: If you have any sort of inkling that you might enjoy this dish (which obvi you will!) then double the recipe. I couldn’t stop eating this as I was taking photos and I promised a serving to my girl Veronica. And while I love V very much, I wish I had more leftover!
Which brings me to note number 2: Just like standard fried rice, this is going to work best with leftover quinoa. I made a boat load of it in my Breville Risotto Plus, (my new favorite kitchen toy), last night at 10pm, just so I’d have it for this recipe! The Breville is really a great ‘fix it and forget it’ deal! Love it!
Number 3: If you prefer egg laced lightly throughout the quinoa, use the donut method I explain in the recipe. (And shown below) However if you’d prefer more substantial bites of egg, then scramble in a separate pan and set aside until the end, chop and toss as the last step.
Number 4: If you are watching your cholesterol then you can sub the egg for just the egg whites.
Number 5: I was so excited to add cashews to this recipe, but when I went into the pantry, my cashews were no longer! I’m so sure cooking in some cashews will make for great flavor and crunch, but it is optional, since the way I cooked and ate it today was sans cashews.
WARNING: Do not make this recipe while hungry or you will end up eating it all before you’re ready to serve! : D
hope know you will enjoy Quinoa Un-Fried Rice as much as I do (i’m already making another batch!) Leave me some comment love and let me know!
xo, This Chick
This healthy alternative to Chinese takeout fried rice recreates the same flavor, with more nutritional benefits! Quinoa is higher in protein and fiber than rice. Ginger adds inflammatory benefits. Note that solely the egg whites may be used as an alternative to the whole egg (or egg can be left out for Vegan Ashley!) Also, check the notes in the blog post for different ways to prepare the eggs. And finally, I found it worked best to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, so that once the heat was on, you can just toss things in step by step and won't risked burning what you have in the pan!
- 2-3 cups leftover cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (or you may use coconut oil)
- 2 large organic eggs, whisked in a bowl
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 of a small sweet onion, diced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 3/4 cup carrots, diced into small cubes
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2.5 Tbsp low sodium, gluten free soy/tamari sauce
- 3/4 Tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup cashews (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the soy/tamari sauce and sesame oil and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil until rippling and add the onion. Stir constantly on medium-high for a minute or two and then add the garlic and carrots. Continue to stir for another 4-5 minutes you can turn the heat down to medium-low or medium. It's extremely important to keep that hand, or someone's hand, stirring, otherwise you risk burning the garlic.
- Next add the peas, scallions (reserving some for garnish on top!) ginger and cashews and… you guessed it…. stir constantly! After a minute, add the leftover quinoa. Continue to stir until the peas and quinoa seem to be heated through. Stir in the tamari/sesame sauce until everything is well combined.
- Turn the heat to low and push away the quinoa from the center of the skillet, creating a donut hole. Pour in the eggs and scramble. Once scrambled, work the quinoa back into the donut hole and toss well! Garnish with remaining scallions.