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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken

I didn't always appreciate quinoa.  I think it might've been because I couldn't pronounce it properly.  (It's pronounced keen-wah.)  Today, I cannot get enough of this grain.  I recently learned that quinoa has ancient origins that date back 5,000+ years ago to the Inca civilization of South America.  It was so important to their culture that they referred to the grain as the Mother Grain.  And with good reason!   Quinoa has more high quality protein than any other grain.  Plus, it is gluten free.  This is essential for my training purposes.
This quinoa stir-fry was prepared for my weekly lunches.  It is incredibly healthy, can be easily adapted (made w/o egg and + tofu, made w/ additional vegetables, etc) and is so delicious!   The recipe makes a ton and 1 serving is definitely filling.  As mentioned in a previous posting, I've found that the key to making a successful stir-fry comes with prepping the ingredients beforehand.  Time to prepare is probably about 10 minutes (depending on your chopping skills) and time to cook is less than 10 minutes.  YUM!   

On an unrelated note, I'm in the process of updating this blog.  Ron's been working with me to fix the font and the background, etc.  Hopefully it can be debuted at some point soon.  I know my 3 readers (thanks, guys!) would love looking at something with a better format.
Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken
adapted from Handle the Heat who adapted from Self magazine
Yield:  4 servings
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (or half red/half green)
  • 1/3 cup sliced & chopped mushroom
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 small red chile, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz grilled chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill (or cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  1. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until quinoa absorbs water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave uncovered. 
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carrot, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 1 minute. Add mushroom, bell pepper, ginger, garlic and chile, if desired; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add peas, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. 
  4. Remove vegetables and return skillet to heat; add quinoa, along with egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until egg is evenly distributed, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add vegetables, chicken, scallions, dill or cilantro and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more.
  6. Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls; serve warm.

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