Quinoa fried rice is a healthy, quick recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to cook. This is loaded with green veggies, vegan, gluten-free, and a healthier alternative to regular fried rice.
If you are on a low-carb diet and craving fried rice, this is surely a lifesaver. You can make this quick and easy recipe in just 30 minutes or even in lesser time. Add whatever veggies you like to your quinoa fried rice. Read my other quinoa recipe here: roasted vegetable quinoa salad
What is quinoa fried rice?
Quinoa fried rice is a variation of traditional fried rice that substitutes quinoa, a nutrient-rich grain, for the more commonly used rice. It offers a healthier alternative for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake or incorporate more whole grains into their diet. The dish is prepared by stir-frying cooked quinoa with a variety of vegetables, proteins, and seasonings.
Why shall you love this quinoa fried rice?
I loved this healthy quinoa fried rice made with just quinoa and veggies. Here are a few points which you'll also love about it.
- Quinoa is one of the healthiest food.
- This has numerous health benefits too.
- Added benefits of tons of veggies.
- This is a versatile dish suitable for any menu like breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Can enjoy something similar to rice while shedding extra pounds
- This is gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, or make it vegetarian.
- It takes 30 minutes or less. Hence a quick dinner for busy weeknights.
Nutrition & Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is one of the healthiest food makes it essential to add to our daily diet. This is a pseudo-cereal and technically not a cereal grain. However, this is again considered as a whole grain. With many health benefits, this pseudo-cereal is a real superfood.
This is a source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Also, this is a gluten-free grain and probably the only plant food that contains all 9 amino acids. Every 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 gms of protein and 5 gms of fiber. Raw quinoa contains even more fiber, 17 - 20 gms per 100 gms. But it gets lost while we cook it. But still, it has reasonably more fiber than rice grains.
Quinoa is high in fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper, folate, zinc, manganese, and many other essential nutrients. (Source)
At that same time, quinoa contains oxalates, which inhibit the absorption of calcium and can cause kidney stones. It also contains phytic acid that binds with other minerals making it unavailable to our body to some extent.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
It contains plant antioxidants, known as flavonoid which has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-cancer effects. Thus antioxidants fight against free radicals and prevent the damage caused by free radicals. It increases overall metabolic health. Sprouting quinoa increases the antioxidant level.
Fiber is helpful in keeping the intestinal system healthy and excretes excess fat. Thus this also helps in keeping a check on bad fat and our heart healthy.
Quinoa has a low glycemic index (GI), and thus it helps to keep blood sugar levels steady. So this is an excellent food for diabetic patients also. A low glycemic index helps in reducing hunger resulting in smaller portion size and less overeating. That ultimately leads to a balanced weight.
The high protein content keeps full for longer giving satiety. So no unnecessary eating habit also leads to a balanced weight with a high probability of weight loss too.
This is a healthy low-carb food you must include if you target to shed some extra pounds.
Quinoa contains a high amount of magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron which are essential for maintaining a vital system.
Quinoa Vs Rice - Which one is healthier?
As we saw quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain (or pseudo-grain) and has numerous health benefits. This is a rich source of plant proteins, fiber. When we are comparing this with rice, no doubt quinoa wins the race for me and for all actually.
One cup of cooked quinoa provides double the amount of protein that we get from similar quantities of rice. Rice is a high-carbohydrate and high-calorie grain. It has more calories (appx 40 cal) and 15x - 20X more carbohydrates than that of quinoa. Because of low carb and low carbohydrate, quinoa is beneficial to shed those extra pounds while still having a similar taste (thou not equal).
How to Cook Quinoa Fluffy?
One cup of dry quinoa makes three cups of cooked quinoa. Making quinoa is as easy as making rice. Just rinse the quinoa vigorously to get rid of the slight natural bitterness.
For every 1 cup quinoa, you need 1 1/3 cup of water for fluffy quinoa. To make fluffy quinoa heat water in a saucepan and add rinsed quinoa to it. If required add a pinch of salt to this. Bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the saucepan aside untouched for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, open the lid and fluff it with a fork.
How To Make Quinoa Fried Rice?
Ingredients for Quinoa fried rice:
Quinoa, Vegetables, Onion, Garlic, Oil, Spices
Quinoa is the hero ingredient here. You can make your quinoa and store it in a refrigerator or freezer. Remove and add to the sauteed vegetables along with some spices of your choice.
Vegetables- You are free to add as many vegetables as you like. Include a variety of them. You can use freshly chopped seasonal veggies or frozen vegetables (which saves prepping time).
Spices - While making quinoa fried rice, spices really make a huge difference. It shapes the whole dish (I felt).
I make it in 2 ways in fact. 1st - soy sauce, a dash of vinegar, and pepper are enough. And 2nd type with ground spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, chili flakes, or a pinch of all spices. Both are the same thing but the taste changes tremendously.
However, in this recipe, I have used 2nd method, i.e. used ground spices only. Next time I will update some more pictures when I make the other way.
Like simple ingredients, the method is also simple. I will say this is a two-step process.
- Make Quinoa
- Saute vegetables
A quick-cooking tip:- Cook the quinoa in advance and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. When you are in a hurry and in no mood to cook, just sauté some veggies and add your pre-cooked quinoa and give them a nice and quick stir. Your healthy weeknight dinner will be ready in just 10 minutes. Check out my lazy vegan recipes.
Recipe Card for Quinoa Fried Rice
Quinoa Fried Rice
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups Water
- 4 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 cups Vegetables diced, frozen/fresh
- 1 Onion
- 4 Garlic pods
- 1 tsp Ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp Curry powder
- 1/4 cup Fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Salt (or as per taste)
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
- 1 Lemon (Juice of lemon)
- 1 Green Chilli (optional)
Making Perfect Quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa well.
- Now add quinoa to a sauce pan or any pot along with double the amount water.
- Place the pan on high flame.
- Once the water starts to boil, reduce the flame to low.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for 7 - 10 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, check with a fork if still any liquid is there in pot.
- If still there is water and quinoa is not cooked properly, then cover it again with lid and cook for another 5 minutes or till quinoa is cooked perfect.
- Fluff it with a fork and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil.
- Add onion, garlic and saute for a minute.
- Add in the vegetables, saute on low flame for 5 - 7 minutes.
- Saute till the veggies are soft and not overcooked.
- Add salt, pepper, and spices.
- Give it a nice stir.
Saute Quinoa with veggies
- Now add the cooked quinoa into the vegetable pan.
- Cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.