16 June 2009

Something Healthy

"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 carrot
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp peanut and/or sesame oil, (I used sesame)
1 extra large egg (I used 2 medium sized ones)
  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. Place oil in a large pan or wok and add chicken. Cook until no longer pink. Add vegetables and garlic and stir until warm.
  4. 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).


Tulsa Gentleman said...

Yum, I can always do stir fry. I have not tried quinoa but it sounds just fine. This dish looks very good. It has a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. The egg is a good idea. I might toss in a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds with the chicken when I brown it, and your idea of using chicken broth to cook the quinoa is very good. I like to buy the powdered chicken broth extract and mix it up a teaspoon per cup of water. It has a good flavor, you only use what you need, and it is much less expensive than canned broth. Again, look in Nam Hai or the Korean market. Knoor is a very good brand.

Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

I love quinoa ... I never tried to cook it this way ..; JP would sure like this recipe ... what an adorbale writing slate you have my friend :)

you can't imagine how touching it is to imagine it is for me to see it in your home ...

Sunshine said...

Tulsa Gent - I topped my serving with sesame seeds cause I like 'em too. My sister probably would have killed me if I had put it on all of it. I'll have to look into Nam Hai for the Knoor. I love going there, but I just hardly ever think about it.

Sabine - I love my writing slate too! I purposely took a picture of it just for you (you'll never guess how many times I had to write on it before I was ok with how my penmanship looked). I have a couple more pics of it without any writing on it, and you can see le petit oiseau and the tiny writing slate you sent me just above it (I'll have to send those to you later).

stephchows said...

mmmmmm love quinoa!!!! You can even use it in muffins hehe. So good!

Gaia said...

Yummy! your blog makes me hungry and I cannot ...I'm on a diet!!!!!i'm gonna try your recipes!!! thanks for stopping by to my blog and for adding me on your daily blog reading!
you didn't say your good and your bed point!

Kim said...

Your sister doesn't hate EVERYTHING, ya know. I don't mind sesame seeds.

down and out chic said...

i've heard that quinoa is some sort of superfood (whatever that means)...anyway, your meal looks delish and it's making my stomach rumble!

Kristin said...

Quinoa is seriously a nutrition powerhouse. Think it would turn out well without a rice cooker?

Sunshine said...

Stephchows - I had never even heard of quinoa until my godmother sent me the recipe. i must figure out the muffin use though...

Gaia - Thanks for visiting me! This recipe is probably one of the healthier ones so I don't think your diet would be in too much trouble. I'm sorry I forgot my good and bad traits. Here they are: good is that I'm happy-go-lucky; bad is that I'm indecisive.

Kim - I was just trying to get a comment out of you. It worked. Yay!!!

Down and out chic - Thank you for such a great compliment! Maybe it has mindreading or levitation. *shrug*

Kristin - Thanks for stopping by. The only reason I use the rice cooker is because I am notorious for burning rice. I was told the quinoa was similar to rice and decided it would be safer to use the cooker. My godmother cooks it on the stovetop so as long as you're not prone to burning rice, it should be safe.