Monday, November 12, 2012

Chicken and Pineapple “Fried” Quinoa, not Rice

Perfect Pairing: Pre-rinsed quinoa

Since my parents just moved my mom has had an opportunity to analyze all of her kitchen tools before storing them in their new home.  She ran across a lot of duplicates, and superfluous gadgets that did not make the cut.  She called me the other day as she was organizing her pantry and asked if I could think of any reason for her to keep the electric skillet.  We went over what we have used it for in the last few years and pretty much came up with one thing, fried rice.  We both agreed that this was not a good enough reason to keep a bulky piece of equipment and into the trash it went.
That discussion got me thinking about the fried rice she used to make.  I loved it.  It was salty from the soy sauce, filling, and about as ethnic as we got growing up.  I decided I was going to make my own variation of fried rice.  My recipe is very different from that original.  I guess they both had peas, soy sauce and eggs in.  That is where the similarities end!
Instead of rice I decided to use quinoa.  I LOVE that stuff.  Side note: If you are a fellow lover of the grain you may want to try this Spicy Quinoa, Tomato, Spinach and Chicken Sausage Soup and this Quinoa, Shrimp, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad.  Quinoa's health benefits far outweigh even brown rice.

To keep it extra healthy I used lots of vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, peas, and edamame.  Fried rice from the local restaurant is going to be full of oil; this recipe uses only two teaspoons.  It is spicy, slightly sweet from the pineapple, filling, and delicious.  Most importantly, it is good for you!   
The Perfect Pairing for this recipe is pre-rinsed quinoa.  I made the mistake of buying un-rinsed quinoa once, and will not be doing that again.  I didn’t have a colander small enough to rinse it and had to come up with alternate methods.  I tried coffee filters, paper towels and draining through my fingers.  Long story short, I had a bit of a mess on my hands (literally) and a lot of wasted quinoa.  Do yourself a favor and buy the pre-rinsed variety!
Chicken and Pineapple “Fried” Quinoa, not Rice
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

·         2 eggs
·         1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained, if not pre-rinsed)
·         2 cups, plus 2 Tb reduced sodium chicken broth
·         2 tsp olive oil
·         2 large shallots, chopped
·         4 cloves of garlic, chopped
·         2 ½ cups broccoli florets
·         8 oz sliced mushrooms
·         4 scallions, chopped
·         2 tsp curry powder
·         2 Tb fish sauce
·         2 tsp chili garlic sauce (also called sambal oelek)
·         1 cup frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
·         1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
·         2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
·         ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
·         1 cup chopped pineapple
·         Optional garnish:  chopped cilantro, green onions, and cashews
Heat a large skillet over medium low heat, spray with cooking spray.  Lightly beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the eggs into the pan and allow to cook through without stirring.  Remove the omelet from the pan and set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan add the quinoa and two cups chicken broth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is cooked through, about 12-16 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium low heat; add the chopped shallot and garlic.  Stir and sauté until the shallots have started to soften.  Add in the broccoli florets, mushrooms, and the two tablespoons of chicken broth.  Cover with a lid and allow to steam briefly, until the broccoli and mushrooms start to soften.  They should still be slightly crisp.  Add in the chopped scallions, and stir to combine. 
Stir in the curry powder, fish sauce, and chili garlic sauce.  Stir to evenly distribute.  Gently stir in the cooked quinoa.  Allow the quinoa to brown slightly on the bottom by not stirring the mixture.  Once it has browned slightly stir to brown another section. 
While the quinoa is browning, fold the omelet in thirds and cut into thin slices.
Add the edamame, peas, chicken, and egg slices to the quinoa.  Stir in the soy sauce, taste for seasoning.  Add in more fish sauce, soy sauce, and/or chili garlic sauce to taste.  Stir in the pineapple.
Serve and garnish with cilantro, scallions, and cashews.


  1. I absolutely love this pineapple fried quinoa recipe. Yours looks amazing!

  2. The great thing about this post is quality information. I always like to read amazingly useful and quality content.
    Your article is amazing, thank you for sharing this article.

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