This was one of the first dishes that I tried to make my way so that I could enjoy the flavors of Chinese food without feeling guilty. I rarely go out for Chinese these days because I find things to be excessively sweet and greasy. I hardly ever leave feeling like I ate a balanced meal. There are few greater pleasures for me than sitting down to a dinner that satisfies my taste buds without wreaking havoc on a healthy lifestyle. This “fried” rice dish is my quick and easy solution to my Chinese food dilemma.
I love this dish because it is quick and easy, filling for my hungry athlete, and has a variety of healthy vegetables and proteins. Traditional fried rice is loaded with oil to make it crunchy but really adds nothing for taste or texture. Using toasted quinoa adds that desired crunch (and a multitude of health benefits) without the calories. Fresh ginger and garlic give this dish a zing and brings Chinese flavors to the comforts of home. You can easily vary it up by adding pineapple or some orange zest and juice… the options are endless.
Makes: 4 main course servings
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 cups quinoa
20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbs garlic
3 tbs soy sauce
4 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs Sriracha hot chili sauce (or more as desired)
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 package frozen veggies (peas, carrots, and corn)
4 eggs or 4 egg whites
3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Toast the quinoa in a large saute pan over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon throughout toasting so that it does not burn. It will start to smell nutty as it toasts. Remove from saute pan and cook in lightly salted water according to package directions.
- Steam or saute the frozen veggies in a saute pan until they are warmed through. Remove from pan into a large bowl.
- In the same saute pan, heat 1 tbs sesame oil and cook shrimp for 3-4 minutes, or until completely cooked through. Add shrimp to the vegetables, cover, and set aside.
- Add another tsp of sesame oil and the eggs to pan and scramble; use the spatula to break the eggs into small pieces as they finish cooking. Remove and add to the shrimp and vegetables.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, garlic, and ginger to the pot on medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and mix well with a whisk. Cook another 3 minutes uncovered on a low simmer.
- Pour the cooked quinoa over the shrimp and vegetables.
- Add the sauce and mix thoroughly so the quinoa absorbs the sauce and the vegetables are mixed throughout.
- Divide into four serving bowls (5 shrimp each!) and garnish with sliced scallions.