Friday, March 23, 2012

Shrimp and Vegetable Fried Quinoa

We've been through the whole "if you crave Chinese food in Buffalo" issue before.  So I won't bore you by repeating it with this make-your-own-fake-Asian-food-that's-better-than-Buffalo-takeout post :)

This recipe was born of a need for a quick, easy, clean pantry meal that would last me for several days of leftovers and, well, wouldn't make me look bloated in a costume with no stomach.  Gotta love tech week!

I got the idea for a fried rice-style quinoa dish here and thought it would be a great solution.  Plus, I had some fully cooked shrimp and some peas in the freezer; carrots, mushrooms, eggs, and low-sodium soy sauce in the fridge; and quinoa in the pantry that could be ready in twenty minutes.  Sold.  I cooked the quinoa during a fortuitously extended lunch break, then came back and cooked it all up in a jiff before rehearsal.

This dish packs a major protein punch with very little fat, thanks to the combination of shrimp, egg, and quinoa.  It was filling without being heavy and it definitely gave me the energy to get through rehearsals after a long day of classes.

Plus, it was really tasty.  This one will definitely come back to mind the next time I want Asian food that will make me feel good about myself :)

Shrimp and Vegetable Fried Quinoa
Source: Methods and amounts taken and/or modified from Cheeky Kitchen and Annie's Eats

2-3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil, divided
1 cup diced carrots
8 oz sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
About 1 lb pre-cooked tails-off frozen shrimp
1 cup frozen peas
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups cold cooked quinoa
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste

Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run under cold water until thawed.
Heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan or wok.   Add the eggs to the pan, cooking and stirring till they are lightly scrambled, but not dry.  Remove from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Once the oil is hot, add the carrots and mushrooms, stir-frying until slightly tender - about 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and peas and cook for about one minute more.  Add the quinoa to the pan, stirring to break up any clumps and combine the mixture thoroughly.  Stir in the soy sauce and seasonings to taste and continue to cook, stirring every so often, until the mixture is hot throughout.  Add the eggs back into the mixture, stir to combine, and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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