A healthier take on the classic fried rice! This vegetarian version combines tons of veggies with protein-packed quinoa for a delicious and filling meal.
Around this time last year, I made my fried rice to share with you all on my blog. Well, it never actually made it on because the photos came out terrible. It was a super dark day and I wasn’t paying attention to my camera settings, so I ended up with really dark photos. I’ve had it on my list of things to do, but of course got caught up in other recipes and never got around to it.
A few months back my friend Annie from The Garlic Diaries shared a recipe for quinoa fried rice. Such a fabulous idea! It prompted me to move my fried rice up on my list of things to make. I was so inspired by Annie’s quinoa version that I decided to swap out the rice in mine for quinoa!
I’m so happy with how it came out, and honestly if you blindfolded me I probably wouldn’t know I wasn’t eating rice. My CSA box had kale and baby bok choy in it this week, so I decided to throw some of that in too! This veggie-packed dish is SO tasty you won’t even know it’s good for you.
As with all stir-fry type dishes, you’ll want to have all of your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. I cook this fried quinoa in stages. First, I start with the eggs – you’re just making scrambled eggs here. The eggs are my favorite part of fried rice, but if you aren’t into it or want this to be vegan, you can certainly leave them out!
Next, I cook in the onion, carrots, and bok choy stems. Once all the veggies are softened up, wilt in the kale and baby bok choy leaves. I like to keep a bowl handy to add all of the components once they are cooked, so add the veggie mixture to the scrambled eggs.
Side note: Did I mention that I don’t even like takeout fried rice? Whenever I ordered (past tense since I can’t anymore!) Chinese takeout I was always very firm that I wanted white rice. If I received fried I wouldn’t eat it. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not a fan. Homemade however, is my absolute favorite!
Now it’s time for the quinoa. I always used leftover rice for my fried rice because it “fries” up much better. I did the same with the quinoa.You can cook it the day before or up to about an hour before you want to make this. Just keep it in the fridge until it’s time to add in the quinoa – the drier the quinoa the better.
Once the quinoa is fried up, add in some peas and corn, the cooked veggies, and the eggs. Toss it all around with soy sauce and you’re ready to eat!
Oh, and yes today is Friday. I normally post my favorites, but honestly they haven’t really changed since the last post! I’m still obsessing over the same things. Plus, I really wanted to share this recipe ASAP because it’s so darn good!
I should also mention this dish reheats very well, so it’s makes a great make-ahead meal option. Perfect for lunches and quick weeknight meals. You could also toss in some chicken if you’d like or even bacon. The kale and bok choy are completely optional – you can leave them out or if you have another green, like spinach, use that!
I think I’ll go heat up some leftovers of this amazing vegetable fried quinoa right now.
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided
- 2 Eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper and beaten
- 1 Small Onion, chopped
- 2 Carrots, grated
- 2 Heads Baby Bok Choy, thinly sliced, keep stems and leaves separated
- 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- 1-inch Piece of Fresh Ginger, grated
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Kale
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Cups Previously Cooked Quinoa*
- ½ Cup Frozen Peas
- ½ Cup Frozen Sweet Corn
- Soy Sauce (Wheat-Free or Tamari), or regular if not gluten-free
- Heat 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil in a wok over high heat. Once it’s melted, pour in the beaten eggs and cook until the eggs are set, moving them gently. (You’re just making scrambled eggs here). Remove the eggs from the wok into a large bowl and set aside.
- Add 2 teaspoons of the coconut oil into the hot wok and once it’s melted add in the onion, carrots, and bok choy stems. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until the veggies gain some color and soften. Add in the garlic and grated ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add in the bok choy leaves and kale and stir-fry until they wilt down. Season the mix with salt and pepper. Remove the veggies to the large bowl with the eggs and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil over high heat. Once it’s melted add in the cooked quinoa. Stir-fry the quinoa for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the frozen peas and corn and mix well. Then, toss in the vegetables and egg. Mix until well combined and then turn off the heat.
- Stir in soy sauce – I just eyeball this. If you made me guess I’d say around 2 tablespoons. Then, when I serve it I top it with more soy sauce.
- *Leftover quinoa works best for this recipe. To make quinoa: measure out 1 cup of quinoa and add it to a fine mesh strainer. Rinse it very well. Heat a medium pot over high heat and add a little oil. Add in the quinoa and allow it to "toast" until the water evaporates. Add in 1 3/4 of water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to low and allow the quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Chill the quinoa before using in this recipe.
- If you don't have bok choy you can use all kale or even add in spinach. Any combination of greens will work!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
I absolutely LOVE fried quinoa! It’s one of my favorite dishes to whip up. This veggie version looks just perfect, Keri! Such a light and fresh dish!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Blueberry Blast Smoothie
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
I have got to try fried rice with quinoa instead of rice! Such a great idea. And healthier and more protein too! This looks just amazing Keri!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Five Things for Friday
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
I love fried quinoa too! It’s awesome how you can add anything to it for variety. Yours looks fantastic and what a great use of your CSA box! You seem to be having quite a creative and great time with it!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Tomato Pie Revisited
Christina @ Bake with Christina says
Mmm I LOVE quinoa, and that looks SO delicious Keri!! 🙂
Christina @ Bake with Christina recently posted…Glazed Lemon Lavender Scones.
Kelley Simmons says
Yumm this looks wonderful! I love that you used quinoa instead of rice. Awesome idea!
Savita @ ChefDeHome says
quinoa and veggies!!! Yes, please!! 🙂 Keri, this is my favorite combo! Pass me a bowl, please 🙂 or eat some saying my name 🙂
Savita @ ChefDeHome recently posted…By ChefDeHome- Sweet and Spicy Mango Harissa Chicken Wings
Maya @ Treats and Eats says
This looks great Keri! I’m such a huge fan of fried rice and would love to try out a quinoa version. Yum!
Maya @ Treats and Eats recently posted…BBQ Spaghetti