September 12, 2012


You have probably seen the trendy healthy food, quinoa, floating around Pinterest or Epicurious over the past year or so. I spent about 6 months searching for it at my local Giant, only to be met with blank stares from the staff as they struggled to pronounce it: "Keen-what? How do you spell it?" Once I found it, and experimented with it, I realized that I didn't like it. I couldn't handle the flavor of regular quinoa. Sad. It seemed to have great health potential. 

Fast forward 2 years, add one toddler and then a mom who is hell-bent on cramming as much healthy food as possible into his hungry mouth. I decided to try Trader Joe's TriColored Quinoa, just as a last-ditch attempt. Lo and behold, this one does NOT have that icky flavor of the regular quinoa, and I actually really like it! My favorite way to make it is with garlic, onions, vegetable broth and some peas, but I decided to branch out and try a new recipe. 

This Chicken Fried "Rice" is a nice, healthy and filling dinner that is toddler-friendly (even if they pick out the peas, call them "yukky" and drop them to the dog). I made a few changes from the original recipe, noted below, to make it easier and a bit more flavorful. 

Lastly, this blog (AND MY KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) are undergoing construction. Our townhouse kitchen is the original from 1985 and it's just about had it. Cabinets fall off the hinges if you open them too many times, the floor is starting to peel up in the corners, and the overall shelf and cabinet spacing is terrible. So, Brina's Kitchen will be offline for a little while - but I'll document our progress with Before, During and After pictures. 

Chicken Fried Quinoa "Rice" 
adapted from Ingredients, Inc. 

1 cup quinoa or 2 cups rice
2 tablespoons sesame or canola oil (sesame is better for flavor!)
1 (16 ounce) package frozen baby carrots and green peas
3 green onions, chopped
2 eggs
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 Low sodium soy sauce to taste
Optional addition: Ginger (grated fresh or dried)
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Note: ALWAYS rinse your quinoa in cold water and cook in broth instead of water for better flavor. 
Cook chicken in a large nonstick pan, in chunks, if it's not already cooked. Set aside. Using the same pan, add 2 tsp sesame or canola oil, and scramble the eggs. Once done, set aside with the chicken. 
Heat the rest of the oil. Stir in carrots, peas, green onions, and ginger; cook about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked quinoa, chicken and eggs; cook 5 minutes more. Add soy sauce, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.