recipe: stir-fried quinoa with vegetables
Though we occasionally indulge in some “unhealthy” goodness (i.e. anything Southern fried, Wing Stop wings and fries, imported beer, chocolate cake, anything from Ravelin, our favorite bakery, etc), my husband and I really do try consume healthy food and drinks on a daily basis. We don’t keep junk food, sodas or sweet drinks in the house – it’s either black coffee or water at home. We eat more chicken and fish than we do red meat and we try to eat vegetables and multiple servings of fruit every day. Breakfast? Fat-free milk with shredded wheat or Cheerios, or whole-grain toast. Sometimes, it’s hard to eat healthy when we’re traveling or busy with all kinds of events. But, we have the best of intentions and try to be mindful of what we put in our bodies.
So, on this summer evening, I decided to make a very healthy meal. Vegetarian, even! A couple of my friends have been using quinoa in their cooking and I’ve used it once for making muffins. Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is considered a superfood. According to Wikipedia, “unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.” I searched for a quinoa recipe online, one that specifically utilized vegetables and I found success. Thanks to Gluten-Free Girl and her recipe, I was able to make a great meal tonight!
Stir-fried Quinoa with Vegetables
(adapted from Gluten-Free Girl – click on that link for the original recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- fistful of asparagus stalks, sliced, with the ends removed
- 1 tomato, diced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- dried basil
- dried parsley
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Cook the quinoa according to packaged directions. Once it’s done (make sure all the water is absorbed), put it in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high. When it’s shimmering, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
3. Add all the vegetables, season with salt, pepper and herbs (I eyeballed it, several pinches of salt, a little pepper and probably 1/2 tsp of each herb). Stir-fry for several minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar.
4. Add 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture and stir-fry for about two minutes. Serve with toasted almonds sprinkled on top of the dish, with roasted asparagus on the side.