I’m forever trying to find ways to make classic comfort foods more healthy. Tonight I had such a strong craving for chicken fried rice, but the MSG in most takeout versions gives me the WORST headaches. Not to mention the fact that I’m trying to save money for my next trip, so picking up Chinese is pretty much out of the question.
In typical food-fiending fashion I began searching Foodgawker for inspiration and found the perfect compromise – Chicken Fried Quinoa! I’m not exaggerating when I say I have an obsession with this seed. I usually cook a cup of it at the beginning of every week and use it as a healthy filler in my lunches. Whether it be on its own or in some hodge podge salad quinoa is definitely a superfood.
This recipe is super simple and once again can include basically any veggies that you have lying around. If you haven’t noticed a theme yet most of my recipes include a mix of whatever is about to go bad in my fridge!
Chicken Fried Quinoa
2 tbsp canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp hoison sauce
1.5 cups quinoa
1 medium stalk broccoli
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1.5 cup chicken stock
1.5 cup vegetable stock
1 green onion, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Generously season the diced chicken breast with salt and pepper – no one likes bland chicken! Make sure all the vegetables are prepped and cut beforehand and set them aside.
I had some leftover quinoa from earlier in the week, but if you don’t have a fridge brimming with half eaten (aka forgotten at the back of the fridge) meals like me, you’re going to need to make some! In sauce pan combine both veggie and chicken stock and the quinoa. You could just use either chicken or vegetable stock alone, I just ran out chicken stock … so the perpetual laziness continues! Follow the quinoa’s package directions to cook – typically you need to bring the mix to a boil then reduce the heat so it simmers, cover the pot and cook for 15 mins, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. DO NOT BURN THE QUINOA – unless you a) want to say goodbye to your pot … burnt quinoa is near impossible to get off or b) want to have the most sore arms in existence from scrubbing said pot.
In a large frying pan heat the canola oil on medium-high and add the diced chicken breast. I ended up frying it in two batches so that the pieces weren’t crowded. Crowding the pan will make the chicken boil not brown – you want to see that light brownish crispy exterior :) After the chicken is cooked remove it from the pan, reserving the cooking oil, and place it on a plate
covered in paper towel to blot off the excess grease.
Add garlic, onions, carrots, and broccoli into the same frying pan, season with half the 1 tbsp of both hoison and soy sauce and cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened. Slowly mix in the quinoa until everything is combined. Add the remaining hoison, soy sauce and the eggs, quickly stirring so that the egg breaks up coats everything evenly. Grab your cooked chicken and toss that back in the same pan. Once the chicken is heated through pour it into a serving dish and garnish with green onion.
If you wanted to make this recipe even healthier you could even swap out the whole eggs for egg whites! What are some recipes you’ve made with healthy ingredient substitutions?