We used to do Chinese take out at least once every couple weeks. It was quick and easy on nights we didn’t feel like cooking. Once we found out about my three-year-old’s allergies though, it became inconvenient. With the peanut and cashew dishes offered on the menu, there was no way to know if his food would be one hundred percent safe.
Chinese takeout also is not the healthiest choice. It is usually loaded down with unnecessary amounts of oil and salt. It is super easy to make healthy Chinese inspired dishes at home like this quinoa fried ‘rice’. All the flavors are there, with half the fat and sodium. It is also packed with some amazing protein and veggies! This is also perfect for those with vegetarian or vegan diets, with some adjustments in ingredients.
I chose quinoa over rice for a few reasons.
- Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich, plant-based foods we can eat. It contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need in just one cup.
- It is a good source of fiber, containing almost twice as much as other grains.
- It is also high in minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
- It is naturally a gluten-free food because it is not an actual grain, it is a seed.
This recipe works best when the quinoa has a chance to be chilled; otherwise, it tends to get mushy. If you can not make ahead of time, just pop it in the freezer while you chop, prepare and cook the other ingredients. To prepare the quinoa, I measured a cup out and placed into a medium sized pot. I like to use stock to add more flavor, but you could just use water. I measure out two cups of [chicken] stock and place in the pot. I add a pinch of salt and give a little stir. Place the pot on the stove on high and let it come to a boil. I then turn down to a low-medium heat, put a lid on, and let simmer until all the liquid is gone. This usually takes about fifteen to twenty minutes. Once its done, I just fluff with a fork. That’s my easy, fool proof way to prepare quinoa. Works every time.
This dish is so versatile. You can customize it to your liking. Throw in some shrimp or pair it with teriyaki tuna. Add chestnuts, snow peas, and baby corn. Really, the possibilities are endless. I kept it simple and easy. I sauteed onions and garlic and then used a frozen pea, carrot, and corn mix. I also used a bag of frozen shelled edamame.
This dish is packed full of protein so it is great for vegetarian or vegan (omit the eggs) diets. We eat meat in our house, so I just added some leftover garlic chicken from the night before and it was perfect! This meal was so easy to put together and so delicious! The boys loved it! They devoured three [child portioned] servings each!
Quinoa Fried 'Rice'
- about 3 cups cooked Quinoa
- 1 tbsp oil (whatever you use to cook with, I use Grape Seed Oil)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
- 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetable (corn, peas, carrots)
- 2 eggs (omit for vegan diet)
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger (1/2 tsp if using fresh)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
- 2 tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
- garnish option: 3 scallions chopped
First, mix the sesame oil, teriyaki, and soy sauce together; set aside. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender. Add the frozen veggies and edamame. Saute for another three to five minutes until warmed through. Add the chilled quinoa and sauce, stir and cook until warm. Create a well in the center of your pan by pushing all the ingredients to the outer edge to form an empty space in the center. Crack two eggs in the center. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for a minute, then scrambled and stir in with the remaining ingredients. Garnish with green onions
Plate and eat as is, or serve as a side dish with teriyaki chicken, shrimp, tuna, or beef!