This entree utilizes a different grain than traditional rice – quinoa, a food staple of the ancient Incas. Considered a super-grain, it contains more protein than any other grain and is considered a “complete protein” because it contains all eight essential amino acids.
- 3/4 cups quinoa (either ivory or red colored) *brown rice or barley
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, chopped into 1-inch squares
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 lb leftover cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa. Place in a small saucepan with ¾ cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until the quinoa has absorbed the water, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside, uncovered.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the carrot, broccoli and red onion, stirring occasionally, until they soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, ginger, garlic, jalapeño, remaining salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic and ginger.
Remove the vegetables and return the sauté pan to heat. Add the quinoa along with the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until the egg is evenly distributed, about 2 minutes.
Add the vegetables, green onions, cilantro and soy or tamari sauce, cooking 1 minute more.
Divide among 4 bowls, serve warm.
<span style="font-size: medium;">Substitute asparagus, snow peas or sugar snap peas for the broccoli. The jalapeño and the egg add to the flavor but are not absolutely required.
For vegetarians, also leave the chicken out and substitute tofu. If you are a cilantro hater, try some chopped fresh basil. If you are not a quinoa lover but want to have a healthy dish, *try brown rice or barley (follow package directions for cooking – they will take longer). Enjoy!</span>