Sometimes Pinterest can be an amazing thing.* The other day I came across a recipe for quinoa “fried rice,” and I knew I had to give it a try. I love quinoa, and it’s such a great sub for rice in this dish, plus it’s another of those “kitchen sink” recipes I love — you can basically throw whatever veggies you have on hand in it.
* Other times it can make you feel like a failure for not doing 57 crafts a week with your kids and making your own pillowcases, but I digress.
Now, the surprising part about this is that I hated fried rice as a kid. Loathed it. My parents would make it for dinner once every couple of weeks (or at least it felt that often), and I could barely bring myself to take a bite. Now, my taste buds have matured a little bit, sure, but I do think this version is helped along by several factors, including the quinoa-for-rice substitution (it’s lighter and fluffier), fresh veggies instead of frozen,** and frying the eggs omelet-style and then dicing them instead of just throwing them in with the rice to scramble. And Sriracha, because that stuff is just awesome on everything vaguely Asian-ish.
** Oh, those frozen stir-fry veggies, how I loathed them! I think a big part of the issue is that there was always bell pepper in there, and I am just not a fan. Sorry Mom and Dad, you know I love you! I must have been absolutely insufferable on the fried rice issue. I’m sure I’ll get my comeuppance eventually.
I took the recipe for a spin the other night, liberally adapting it to what I had on hand and adding some crispy fried tofu on top for extra protein.
This is definitely a meal that has earned a place in our weeknight rotation! It’s certainly a nice change of pace from stir fry.
- 2 Tbs canola oil, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups spinach, packed, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 4-5 scallions, sliced
- Crispy fried tofu (optional)
- Sriracha, for serving
- Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat in a small nonstick pan. Scramble the eggs in a small bowl and pour into the pan. Cook without stirring until the top begins to set, about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and cool, then dice and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for about a minute more, stirring, and then add the broccoli, carrots and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the other vegetables are just becoming tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and ginger and stir to coat.
- Stir in the quinoa, diced egg and scallions, and stir until warm.
- Serve topped with crispy fried tofu, if desired, and Sriracha to taste.
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