"Hey, Sunshine, what's for dinner?"
Quinoa, pronounced keenwa, is a grain that becomes light and fluffy when cooked. With a slightly nutty flavor, it is usually used as a replacement for rice (thank you, Wiki). I got this cool recipe from my godmother and decided to give it a try. Since quinoa is kind of different, I had to make a special trip to Whole Foods to get it (this trip resulted in a large purchase of cheese too).
This recipe is a healthier alternative to fried rice, although I didn't help matters by adding chicken to it. I just couldn't figure out what to serve with it so I thought I'd turn it into an entree and serve it with a salad. I even went so far as to make a ginger dressing that was pretty similar to the kind you get at Japanese steakhouses. It was yummy!
Feel free to play around. If you're on the vegetarian train, you could always use tofu if you're wanting to make an entree out of it. I added extra vegetables to mine to make it heartier. Of course I had to finish off such a healthy meal in an unhealthy manner: vanilla cupcake with a glass of milk. Still, it was a good meal. Enjoy!
Chicken Fried Quinoa
Recipe by my godmother, adapted by me
1/4 c quinoa
1/2+ c water (next time, I'll use chicken broth)
1 lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 large zucchini
1/4 yellow squash
1/4 lb broccoli florets (about 1-2 heads)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp peanut and/or sesame oil, (I used sesame)
1 extra large egg (I used 2 medium sized ones)
- In saucepan prepare 1/4 cup quinoa according to package (I used my rice cooker which worked out pretty well especially since I had to buy the quinoa loose instead of in a package).
- While quinoa is simmering, quarter the 1/4 large zucchini, 1/4 yellow squash, 1/2 onion, and the carrot (my godmother adds some fresh peas if she has them).
- Place oil in a large pan or wok and add chicken. Cook until no longer pink. Add vegetables and garlic and stir until warm.
- Add cooked quinoa and stir. Push mixture to the sides of the pan leaving a hole in the middle. Crack the egg into the center and allow to cook slightly before scrambling. Fold into the vegetable mixture until fully distributed and cooked. Serve with soy sauce or additional sesame oil (I topped mine with sesame seeds).