Quinoa is one of those super foods that everyone (especially runners) should be eating. These ancient grains are packed with protein and high in iron, magnesium and fiber.
But they smell rancid! Much like the Brussels sprout gene, I must have the quinoa smells horrid gene. As soon as I open the package, the odor takes me back. Even after rinsing and soaking the quinoa, the odor smog permeates the whole house. Thank goodness, we live near a cypress swamp, because we can just blame the horrible quinoa aroma on the swamp behind our house.
Once you get past the smell and soak the quinoa well, you can use it as a base for some many wonderful dishes. For something a little different for this year’s Chinese New Year dinner, I thought I would try out Skinnytaste’s Quinoa “Fried” Rice and for the first time in my Skinnytaste test-kitchen, I was disappointed. It had way too much fish sauce and needed a bit more…umph. It broke my Skinnytaste heart.
So, I used the gist of her recipe to concoct my own Quinoa Unfried Rice. I omitted the fish sauce and added some extra tamari to keep it gluten free. For a little extra umph, I added fresh ginger and a few more veggies, such as carrots, mushrooms and peas. If you want a few more veggies, toss in some chopped broccoli florets when adding the mushrooms.
When I revamped the recipe, my family loved it and that made my Chinese New Year pretty lucky!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
- 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and pre-soaked
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (about an inch), minced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 carrot, diced small
- 1 pint sliced white mushrooms
- 4 Tbsp Tamari
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Sliced scallions (optional)
- Rinse the quinoa well and soak at least 20 minutes before cooking it. Add one cup quinoa and 1 ½ cups water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer covered for about ten minutes or until all water has been absorbed and the quinoa appears fluffy.
- Whisk egg whites and yolk together to scramble eggs. Prepare a small nonstick pan with cooking spray and add eggs. Scramble and cook eggs until fluffy but do not overcook. Set aside.
- On a medium-high heat, heat oil a nonstick wok or large skillet. Add the onions, red bell pepper, garlic and ginger and sauté for about 2-4 minutes. Add mushrooms to veggies and sauté until mushrooms soften.
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I’ve never noticed this about quinoa, but me husband complains about it. He also will not eat quinoa b/c he thinks it smells terrible. Oh well. More for me, right?
Thank you for hosting!
Oh my gosh, I never thought quinoa had a smell to it. Which one do you buy? We just had some this week. I like to cook mine with chicken or beef broth, then add sauteed veggies. We are out right now, so I’m going to get some more just so I can smell it again! 😉
I’ve always wanted to try a quinoa recipe but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I had no idea that quinoa smelled weird but I guess it kind of makes sense. I love that this is a healthy “unfried” rice because I absolutely love the taste and texture of regular friend rice, but when they cook it at asian restaurants they use SO much oil and butter there’s no way its nearly as healthy as this kind of recipe it. Looks delish!
I have been reading so much about quinoa lately – I can barely spell it. And I don’t think I’ve ever tried it?
I love quinoa! I never thought to use it for a fried rice type of dish. Yum!
I had the same issue with packaged quinoa. Now, I buy my quinoa from the bulk section at Whole foods. It does NOT have that gross musty smell. It smells like rice.
The first time I bought quinoa, it was from the bulk bins at WF, then hubs bought a package at Sam’s Club (money talks, after all). It smelled so bad, I called the company and they sent me a new bag…that smelled exactly the same! I couldn’t eat it.
No more packaged quinoa for us.
That is so interesting!!! I’m totally buying quinoa in bulk next time! Thank you!
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