In the kitchen with Kelley: Quinoa fried ‘rice’

At my house, we don’t feel the need to include meat in every meal. I’m fortunate that my children appreciate vegetables and seem to truly enjoy them as much as I do. Cooking a meatless meal seems less intensive, and I don’t have to worry about thawing anything out. That’s something this busy mom really appreciates.

But when I cook a meatless meal, I like to look for alternative ways to pack it with protein. Quinoa is a great plant source of protein, and I’ve started incorporating it into more of our meals. Recently, I experimented with substituting quinoa for rice in one of our favorite dishes: fried rice.

Cooked quinoa has roughly five times more protein than cooked white rice, which is what I typically used in my original fried rice recipe. Using it as a substitution didn’t detract from this traditional favorite. The texture was similar to traditional fried rice, and it was a big hit with the family.

In my recipe below I’ve included eggs, but you can make it without eggs, for a protein-packed vegan meal.

Quinoa fried ‘rice’
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Sea salt
  1. While prepping vegetables, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is al dente (about 15 minutes). Uncover and remove from heat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry the carrots, shallot and white scallions over high heat until soft and a little browned (about 5 or 6 minutes). Add garlic, ginger, green scallions, a dash of sea salt and stir into vegetables for about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa by folding it into the vegetable mixture. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
  3. If adding eggs, create a well into which you will pour the beaten eggs. Stir until nearly set, then mix in.


Kelley Martin

By Kelley Martin

Kelley Martin is an award-winning journalist who has been covering the news for more than 20 years. She cooks for her family, and she shares recipes with the readers of Easy Health Options™.