This quinoa fried rice has no rice. And no fried.
It’s kind of like flourless cookies. And grain-free oatmeal. And cauliflower rice. It defies the very definition of the food itself; yet we’re all so into it.
Lately I crave things that can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Things that are delicious until proven guilty. Things like this riceless friedless quinoa fried rice.
I was that super annoying customer at Chinese restaurants that responded with “brown rice” when asked if I preferred steamed rice or fried rice. Now don’t act shocked when I tell you that 98.79% of the time they didn’t have brown rice. Because brown rice is healthy and healthy wasn’t cool until like 2007.
Unless you have the frozen pre-cooked kind, rice takes a helluva long time to cook. Like 45 minutes too many. Quinoa, while difficult to pronounce, is not difficult to cook. It takes a mere fifteen minutes to serve up the fluffy, protein-packed goodness that is this pseudograin. Yep, quinoa is actually a seed!! We’re all just pretending to be things we’re not, here.
To keep it easy, I seasoned up this whole grain n’ veggie mixture with a simple mixture of sriracha and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Feel free to add some sesame oil if you want to raise the flavor roof. For all the gluten-free folks reading, feel free to use tamari instead!
P.S. Anytime I list minced ginger in a recipe, I’m secretly using this bottled minced ginger from The Ginger People. You can get it online or at Whole Foods. It’s a godsend. Because who wants to actually mince fresh ginger? #aintnotimefordat
There are so many places that this dish could go. Add edamame for more plant-powered protein. Add scrambled eggs for an authentic twist. Add more greens to make it more of a salad.
Oh the places quinoa will go!!
- 2 cups quinoa + 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2½ cups thinly sliced carrots
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 cup edamame (optional)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger (optional)
- 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and finely chopped
- ¾ cup roasted salted cashews (optional)
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (sub gluten-free tamari for gluten-free)
- 3 tbsp sriracha
- Place quinoa and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables.
- When the quinoa is cooked, dump into a large bowl. Wipe down pot. Add oil to pot and heat over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add peppers, edamame, garlic, and ginger and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add kale and sauté just until wilted (a few minutes). Add cashews.
- Dump cooked vegetables into bowl with cooked quinoa. Add soy sauce and sriracha and stir well to combine. Serve warm.