Kat in the Kitchen: Fried Quinoa

We were all set to join the dinosaur club and eat as the cavemen did when I got pregnant. I not so graciously fired myself from my post as the peppy Paleo cheerleader, sent my giant bag of quinoa to the back of the pantry and gobbled up all of the junk my body was craving. White rice, Nutella, delivery pizza, refried bean quesadillas, apples fried in butter, a quarter of a loaf white bread at a time with butter, McDonald's cheeseburgers ... you could tell that my body was pregnant and nursing at the same time. 

Eventually, I started to eat more normal food in addition to the junk. One grocery shopping eve, all through the pantry, nothing was appetizing, not even candy. I had to be creative and that bag of Amazon quinoa stood out above the random cans of tomatoes and cranberry sauce (must be jellied with the ridges for it to be good, am I right?). 

I loved Asian food this last pregnancy, and Becca had cooked fried rice enough that I now knew how to elevate my normal I'm-too-lazy-to-really-cook-and-nothing-is-left-in-the-fridge go to meal. Becca seriously makes the best fried rice ever. Since I didn't have rice (a travesty, in my mom's opinion), fried quinoa would have to do. Well, it did more than do! 

(If you have ever made fried rice, then you know that this recipe can be customized sooo easily. It really isn't a strict recipe. Ha! It isn't even a recipe; it's a suggestion. I could seriously insert, "give or take" or "as much as you would like" or "just eyeball it" after each item and each instruction).

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Fried Quinoa recipe. 

Serves 3-4. 

2 cups uncooked quinoa or 6-8 cups of cooked quinoa 

1/4-1/2 pound of bacon or whatever protein you would like

1 small onion 

4 cloves of garlic 

1 jalapeno*

coconut oil (vegetable or canola oil will work, too, but coconut oil goes with this healthy version of fried rice)

soy sauce 

sesame oil 

salt and pepper

any steamed vegetables you would like to mix in 

green onions for the topping

*when I make this with just one jalapeno, Ryan is able to eat the dish without a problem so I normally do that and then have chili pepper flakes or hot sauce on the side for Chris and me. You can increase the pepper count!

1. If your quinoa is uncooked, prepare the quinoa as normally directed. 

2. Chop the bacon, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and  green onion. Set green onions aside for the topping. 

3. Cook the bacon, jalapeno and onion until the onion is translucent and the bacon is close to desired crispiness. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

4. You can drain some of the fat from the bacon, but I like to keep most of it. 

5. Pour the quinoa in and stir until mixed throughout.  Add coconut oil to your liking. 

6. Season with soy sauce to taste and stir until quinoa is evenly coated.

7. Add a drizzle of sesame oil and mix again. This can really overpower the rest of the dish easily so use sparingly.

8. Mix in vegetables.

Top with green onions and serve with a fried egg, and you must eat it with the easy-to-make Guamanian fina'dinne' sauce. This takes fried quinoa and fried rice to a whole new level. Do it!