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
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…