Most days, I bring my lunch to work. Last year I was really into avocados smashed onto whole wheat toast with a sprinkling of salt. The year before that was soup. For 2011, I’m into quinoa.
Quinoa is an edible seed and has been identified as a superfood. It’s a complete plant-based protein but without the fat and cholesterol you typically find in meat. I love quinoa because it can substitute white rice in many dishes including my one of my favorites: fried rice.
The preparation of quinoa is much like rice: rinse until clear, then boil or steam. Unfortunately, quinoa has a hard and often bitter exterior so rinsing is an absolute necessity. And the size of quinoa is much smaller than rice — think couscous size.
For fluffy quinoa, I rinse two cups twice and boil in salted water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the quinoa is strained and rinsed under cold water. As it drains, fill the same pot with water again. Once the water is boiling, steam the quinoa (still in the strainer) over the boiling water for 15-20 minutes until fluffy. It’s now ready for a multitude of uses including fried rice quinoa.
Fried Rice Quinoa
2 cups quinoa
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup peas
1 package breakfast sausage, or cooked meat of your choice (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Heat 4 cups water in large saucepan until boiling. Rinse two cups of quinoa in water twice. Add salt and quinoa to water and boil for 15 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and rinse quinoa in strainer and drain. Clean saucepan and heat 2 cups water until boiling. Leave quinoa in strainer, add peas on top of quinoa and steam over boiling water for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is tender.
While quinoa is steaming, cook scrambled eggs and meat. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil over medium in wok or large frying pan. Add cooked quinoa and peas. Add eggs and meat combining everything. Add soy sauce and sesame oil.