Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Quinoa is a fantastic and tragically underutilized grain. It cooks quickly, has a richer flavor that rice or couscous, and is a complete protein. Sti-fries and fried rice are great ways to use lots of vegetables, so why not quinoa? It is important to wash quinoa thoroughly before cooking it because the outside is coated in saponins, soap-like substances that will definitely come in the dish through if quinoa isn't washed.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry
adapted from Epicurious, who got it from Self

3/4 c. quinoa, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 T. sesame oil
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium orange or red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 T. thinly sliced ginger
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 c. snow peas, trimmed
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 scallions, chopped white/light green and dark green parts divided
1/2 c. cilantro
1 T. soy sauce

1. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon 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 bell pepper, ginger, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add peas and white/light green scallion pieces, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Remove vegetables and return skillet to heat; add quinoa, along with egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until egg is evenly distributed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add vegetables, dark green scallion pieces, cilantro and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more. Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls; serve warm.

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