Healthy Quinoa Fried Rice

by Holly on December 5, 2011

in Asian,dinner,gluten-free,recipes,silliness,vegetarian

It’s an important¬†question that has somehow followed me everywhere as of late.

From morning show news anchors to curious co-workers (hi Natalie + Kara!) to a hilarious conversation overheard between two fabulously gay, bickering boyfriends while walking home after work last week, everyone wants to know: what can I do with quinoa?

Quin-oahhh…keeenn-wahhh…kwynn-whoa…however you say it, this tiny grain packs a rather large nutritional punch. It’s a grain. It’s a vegetable (a close relative to species of beets, spinach and tumbleweed). And it’s a complete protein, which means it’s loaded with all nine essential amino acids needed for your body to do its biological thang. Quinoa rules, boys drool.

Turns out, the answer to that question is, a lot.

You can rub these pinpoint-sized grains on your body as a harsh yet totally effective exfoliator!

You can annoy your non-existent cleaning lady by dumping a box of quinoa on the kitchen floor and forcing her to spend hours upon hours trying to pick up every last grain!

You can slather a whole bottle of Elmer’s glue on your skin, roll in a bed of quinoa and go dressed up as a sand monster next Halloween!

You can suck quinoa up through a straw, hold your breath and then blow out, pelting the hard grains at people you don’t like!

You can pour quinoa into a glass jar and have a guessing contest at how many grains are inside!

Then again…I guess you could eat it.

And when you do eat it, I suggest making an extra large batch of it.

Not because I want you to annoy your poor cleaning lady or show up at next year’s Halloween party looking like a total health food freak (although, a quinoa sandman is a genius idea if I don’t say so myself) nor do I want to encourage childish, straw-pelting behavior. I recommend this only because leftover quinoa makes for a quick, easy way to whip up dinner in no time flat.

Because let’s be real, we could use more time in our lives to devote to quinoa exfoliation.

Healthy Quinoa Fried Rice
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes

2 T sesame oil
1 t minced garlic
1 t minced ginger
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 cup shredded carrot
3 to 4 cups cooked quinoa
2 T mirin (rice wine vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
3 eggs
salt + pepper, to taste
extra soy sauce + Sriracha, to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil for 1 minute. Add vegetables and cook until thawed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add quinoa, soy sauce and mirin. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa has absorbed the liquid.

In the middle of your saucepan, push fried quinoa to the side to create a hole. Crack eggs inside the hole and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently mix the quinoa and eggs. Let cook for an additional minute. Mix again. Repeat until egg is completely cooked. Season with salt + pepper.

To serve, portion quinoa fried rice into two bowls and top with Sriracha, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

And just in case your quinoa-loving soul needed more recipe ideas…

Almond Quinoa Muffins

Black Bean Cornmeal Quinoa Patties

Mediterranean Eggplant and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Granola

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna


Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife December 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm

This looks fabulous! I am definitely one of those people wondering what the heck I should do with my quinoa! :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) December 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I just made a big batch of quinoa for the week! (And had it for dinner) I go through phases where I’m a little obsessed, which is now. :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Beautiful and love the brightness, the eating the rainbow action. Yum!

Ann December 6, 2011 at 12:13 am

My personal favorite use of quinoa is turkey loaf. It has been my go to easy yummy recipe lately (oh and in the comments there is a suggestion to use an extra egg. I wouldn’t suggest it).

Linds December 6, 2011 at 12:24 am

Yum! Love that the ingredients aren’t super complicated or weird–thank you! Can’t wait to give it a whirl.

Erica December 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

mmmmmm! I always forget how totally delicious quinoa is. And it pairs so nice with egg that I bet its awesome as a fried rice. Great dish gfriend

Lauren December 6, 2011 at 5:55 am

Quinoa makes the mot beautiful rice dishes. I was actually planning quite a similar meal this week.

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 6, 2011 at 6:33 am

BAHAHA I really hope to one day see someone dressed as a quinoa sand monster for halloween!

Sarah@The Flying ONION December 6, 2011 at 6:49 am

Yum! Quinoa is so versatile, isn’t it? I’m tempted to give the exfoliation a try…haha!

I love making extra quinoa to keep on hand for easy dinners. It freezes pretty well too, which is makes it even more convenient to double up. :D

Angharad December 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

Thanks for including me girl. Quinoa is the bomb diggidy xoxo

Shannon December 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

I really like the quinoa fried rice idea! I’m definitely going to have to try that! (FYI, my computer doesn’t like the word quinoa…)

Carolyn December 6, 2011 at 9:15 am

I love quinoa! Now, I know what to do with leftovers…yum!

elise December 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

holler. quinoa rules, boys drool!!

Eva @LittleMissGymRat December 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

Legitimately SO excited to try this one out. Thanks girl!

Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles December 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm

My favorite way to eat quinoa is for breakfast, but I might have to give this “fried rice” version a go!

kerry December 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I didn’t think it was possible to read another article on quinoa, but i not only loved this–I want to make it this weekend.

Addy December 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I’ve been looking for a warm something for dinner…and I got some keeen-waaah :) hanging out in the pantry! Thanks for the recipe, Holly!

Maren December 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Oh drama!!! My blog friends are making my list of meals for the week very easy!! :) Thanks lady! oh, and yes, I’m planning my meals on tuesday afternoon…I’m never on time for anything.

Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel December 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I just snorted out loud (in Starbucks) after reading your suggestion to dress as a quinoa sand monster. Awkward…

At this point, I just want to buy a big batch of quinoa and eat it endlessly for a weak until I finish all your recipes.

Maren December 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Holly – Just made it for dinner. Put 5 eggs in it (ha!) And it’s so absolutely amazing!! And Nate even likes it too!!! He, of course, wanted to add chicken to it, but I convinced him it had plenty of protein ;)

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

If quinoa rules and boys drool, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck?
I’ll never tell.

Hillary December 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Woah, quinoa is a vegetable?
Mind = blown.

KaraHadley December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

O’m’gahhh, I want to eat this right now. Quinoa is awesome. Fried rice is awesome. And together they sound so damn delicious!

Ilana December 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm

holly love, this is the most hilariously delicious (deliciously hilarious?) post on earth.

caitlin December 7, 2011 at 8:06 am

Thank you for this post! I just bought a bag of Quinoa and my thoughts, “okay, now what the helllll am I going to make?” I am going to print these off today and attempt them!

Lara December 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

This post is awesome but such weird timing. I was just thinking about quinoa fried rice the other day….ages ago I posted (a very unhealthy) fried rice recipe on my old blog. A few weeks later, I asked HEAB to do a guest post, and she turned my unhealthy family recipe into a healthy quinoa fried rice recipe! I was just thinking that I really need to try her recipe, and now I need to try your recipe, too!
Sorry for the blabbing backstory…just thought it was funny. This looks delicious!

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness December 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Holy balls, this looks so dang delicious!

natalie (the sweets life) December 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

kinda pissed i’m about to leave town bc i want to make this ASAP! next week, for sure!

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather December 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I totally want that halloween costume! Everyone will be so jealous of it. Totally.


Or maybe I’ll just stick to the food because it looks so good!! I’ll take 2 bowls please :)

Melody (Redhead in the Kitchen) December 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

To do list:
Spanish rice-style quinoa

Yum! Thanks for the great recipe.

Kaitlin With Honey December 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm

LOVE this! So delicious.

Jenny December 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I make fried quinoa all of the time- so good! It’s actually not a grain; it’s a seed. And a delicious seed, at that!

the tasty tRuth December 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Oh man, I’ve had a bag of quinoa in my cabinet just starting at me all semester…and I finally used it last night with this recipe. Perfect! Thanks for sharing.

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