Sunday, June 17, 2012

fried quinoa, sort of

Ok ok, yeah I know.  Everyone has been going to the farmer's market for years.  I have been kind of slow to jump on that boat.  My first real trip to a farmer's market was two weeks ago.  My second trip was yesterday.  So I now have a new thing.  Farmer's market on saturdays.  My goal is to go to Eastern Market in Detroit, but with two kids who aren't the easiest to wrangle into the car in the morning, and a mama who can herself be a bit slow in the morning, I'm keeping it a bit more local.  For now.

I have to say that I am really loving it.  Last week it was the asparagus, spelt flour, sunflower seeds, pickles (I so happily discovered my new favorite pickles- Perkin's Pickles), and whipped cinnamon honey.  This week it was the eggs, cinnamon basil (with beautiful purple stems and flowers), mushrooms, scallions, rhubarb (I can't wait to go strawberry picking this week and make some pie!), more pickles, and blueberries (which disappeared rather quickly at the park following the market).

When I started thinking about dinner, I realized that I had a lot of bits and pieces, but nothing that really shouted "Make me!  Make me!"  I remembered the swiss chard in the garden and when I scoured my cupboards, I found the quinoa.

Quinoa is not part of my repertoire, but the light bulb went off.  Fried rice with quinoa.  Fried quinoa.  Well, sort of.

My husband came in and asked what I was making for dinner.  When I told him, he said, "I don't know about this quinoa.  It sounds a bit too healthy for me."  Meanwhile, he ended up eating three servings.  Go figure.

fried quinoa, sort of

2 c. uncooked quinoa
4 c. chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 c. crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 c. roughly chopped baby corn
1 c. swiss chard or other hearty greens, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
3 eggs

2 tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

I feel like I cooked this kind of weirdly, but it really worked for me.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Add the quinoa, and cook according to package directions.  I cooked it covered for 10 minutes, gave it a stir, turned off the heat, and let it sit until I needed it.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium high.  Add the chicken and sauté until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate.  Add another tablespoon of oil and heat until hot.  Toss in the mushrooms and ginger, sauté for another 5 minutes or so, or until they get nicely browned. Mushrooms soak up a lot of oil, so I kind of added another tablespoon here or there. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to brown.  Remove to the plate with the chicken.  The reason I did this is to keep the mushrooms nice and garlicky, but to prevent the garlic from burning.  I am notorious for serving burnt garlic.  I am trying to remedy this problem...

Add another glug of oil, and then throw in the vegetables: the carrots, mini corn, swiss chard, and scallions.  Toss well in the oil and cook for about 5 minutes.  Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, stir it all together, and let cook for several minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Push the food to the edges of the pan, so that you have a cleared center.  Crack the eggs into a bowl and then add them to the center of the pan.  Scramble the eggs, and when cooked, give everything a good stir.  Add the cooked quinoa, and then pour on the sauce.

Stir together until incorporated.


  1. Num! I am always looking for ways to jazz up quinoa--as I'm not a huge fan. Can't wait to try. I promise I'll follow up with my results (of course I have no kitchen at the moment, but after the 4th of July maybe)

  2. Ok good- definitely let me know how it works out! I liked this one a lot because it was a full meal. Of course you could substitute the chicken with tofu, or you could just leave it out. The quinoa is a great source of protein..

  3. Oooo I love quinoa and have been making it for years, but usually just plain with roasted veggies on top or in a kale-or-chard-or-collard pilaf. This look very deelish, Marla.