Quinoa Fried Rice (Vegan!)
You guys. Going vegan with a family isn’t supposed to be this easy. The kids shouldn’t come running into the kitchen, asking you what smells so good. They shouldn’t set the table all by themselves, then tuck themselves into their seats, forks held at the ready as if you’re feeding a roomful of starving soldiers.
Because vegan should be lame, right?
And vegan should be hard, right?
And boring, right?
What.ev.er. Forget everything you’ve ever thought about plant-based diets. Toss aside all that flotsam that says you could never live without meat or butter or cheese. Gird up your loins and prepare yourself to be challenged. Because this recipe is the first tool every human should have in their “you so too could be vegan” arsenal.
You so too could be vegan.
So I’ve been preparing a week by week shopping list of things you need to pick up as you start to transition from the old, nappy way of eating. I’ll post it soon, but this stuff up above here, Braggs Liquid Aminos? Go get you some. Whole Foods and Sunflower market in Colorado both carry the stuff. It costs about 6-bucks here, I don’t know how much it will cost in your neck of the woods. This product makes a great substitute for soy sauce and packs a bunch of nutrients you won’t find in traditional soy sauce. Of course, you can use soy sauce in the recipe, if needed, but I kind of dig the Braggs.
I wish I’d taken a picture of the pile of prepared veggies just before they were tossed into the wok. Massive city, y’all. There must have been two pounds of living food sitting on my cutting board.
Favorite part of the meal? When the teenager of the house pushed his bowl back after finished his second helping. “Mom? THAT was vegan? Holy crap, I am totally vegan.”
While I don’t feel the need to insist on a 100% vegan diet for my children (learning how to navigate the Western diet as a mostly plant-eater will take time) but for now, I’m just glad to start helping my children demystify the concept. If they know plant food tastes damn good, perhaps it will make it easier to pass on the fast food options that come their way.
One day at a time. But in the meantime, tonight we were totally vegan.
Vegan Quinoa Fried Rice
Yield: 6-8 large servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Wanna see your family scarf down some serious veggiepalooza lovin? This super easy, pretty-dang-quick veggie fried rice is insanely tasty, vegan, and family-friendly. The addition of quinoa, rather than rice, adds serious protein and a pop of extra nutrition. If you don't have tahini in the house, you can just use Braggs or soy sauce for flavoring, but the tahini add a nice, subtle, nutty flavor to the dish that is really worth a quick run to the store.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger (or 3 cubes of frozen ginger puree)
4 carrots, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 bunch celery, finely diced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos)
juice of 1 lime
3 cups quinoa, cooked
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)
Cook the quinoa, if needed.
In a large wok (and I really do recommend a wok for cooking this recipe), heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the ginger and carrots and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the carrots are slightly softened. Add the bell pepper and celery. Cook a minute more, then toss in the cabbage and bean sprouts. Cook until the cabbage is wilted. Add the tahini, half of the soy sauce, and all of the lime juice. Stir until the veggies are well coated. Toss in the quinoa, add the peas and corn, then remove from the heat. Mix in the scallions. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds for garnish, then serve immediately and enjoy!