It’s not my best quality, but I have a hard time talking about quinoa with a straight face. Sure, I have been eating it for over five years, but when an ingredient is everywhere, when it is treated as if it were the answer to all food questions — like what is a low carb alternative to rice — I can’t help but want to rebel against it. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN- WA), the ancient not-quite-a-grain cultivated by the Incas, took a seat at the cool kid’s table after virtual obscurity in the States. Vegetarians and foodies alike rave about its high-protein content and versatility in the kitchen.
Despite my yearning for a food rebellion, I can’t help admit that quinoa really is quite fabulous. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, “blank canvas food” is the best. Sure, on its own it bland and boring, but with the proper technique and ingredients you can transform it into something beyond great. I’m obsessed with my sweet and sour chicken. It’s one of those recipes that tastes like cheat food but is deceivingly healthy and low-carb. This recipe is the perfect partner in crime. 1 serving of both will only cost you about 450 cals. #winning
- 1 cup quinoa ($2.50)
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ small onion, chopped ($.50)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped ($.20)
- 3 scallions, chopped ($.10)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced ($.20)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced ($.20)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
- 2 eggs ($.75)
- ½ cup frozen peas ($.50)
- 1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce ($.25)
- 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce ($.20)
- ¾ teaspoon sesame oil ($.20)
- Bring quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and let set for five minutes or so. Fluff with a fork.
- Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes. Add 2 scallions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the quinoa. Stir-fry about two minutes. Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the quinoa pour eggs in, scramble. Add in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through, add remaining scallion and serve.