A couple of years ago, my husband Ted and Cousin Martin hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Every evening, after climbing all day and carrying tents, food and gear, their guides cooked a meal for the group of hikers. When I asked recently what those meals were like, all the guys could remember was "some sort of quinoa stir fry thing with vegetables". Not much to go on, but Kathy and I started with a recipe we found online, and we loved the dish we created, a kind of chicken and vegetable fried rice -- without the rice. I imagine that the Peruvian cooks might have included roasted cubed potatoes. We used cubes of grilled chicken breast, for a super healthy and satisfying entrée. I hope this quinoa stir-fry, even if it's not authentically Peruvian, brings back good memories for Ted and Martin. (PS: Their next climb is Mt. Kilimanjaro. Anyone know any Tanzanian dishes that use our pantry ingredients?)
Chicken and vegetable quinoa stir-fry
Adapted from a recipe in Self Magazine. Serves 4.
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small carrot, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp mild red pepper flakes
2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli florets, snow peas, asparagus, etc.)
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
4 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, or on the stovetop according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the red pepper flakes and mixed vegetables, plus the black pepper.
Remove vegetables from the wok and set aside. Return the pan to heat, and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the quinoa and egg, and stir-fry to cook the egg, 30 seconds. Return the vegetables to the pan along with the chicken, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
Serve hot, or at room temperature.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Quinoa turkey meatloaf
Quinoa, avocado, tomato and black bean salad with chipotle lime dressing
Chickpea, quinoa and spinach salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
Salmon and quinoa patties with lemon-yogurt sauce
Chicken or turkey fried rice
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Pumpkin quinoa cookies, from Gluten-free Goddess
Quinoa and shrimp with fresh corn and cherry tomatoes, from Food Blogga
Sopa de quinoa (quinoa soup), from Soup Chick
Hearty chicken stew with butternut squash and quinoa, from Cookin' Canuck
Curried quinoa with chicken and peas, from $5 Dinners
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