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Quinoa “Fried Rice” Recipe

Today we’re not only going to look at my new Quinoa “Fried Rice” Recipe but we’re also examining hunger in this country. And what we can all do to help.

Quinoa "Fried Rice" Recipe #takeyourplace

Considering the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, we have over 48.8 million Americans struggling to get nutritious food on a regular basis. Wow, that’s pretty sobering, eh? In fact, to further this notion, consider that one in five children is food insecure, which means they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from. What has gone wrong here?

For many, the lousy economy has meant losing jobs or taking jobs with lower pay. To compound the problem, many families rely on SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) as a way to augment or serve as their grocery budgets, which is a paltry $3-$4 per person per day. Which is nothing. So when someone’s working a minimum wage job and has to put food on the table for a family, things get tricky real fast.

It’s time we all face the truth about hunger in this nation. It’s real. It’s happening. And it’s preventable. Millions of children suffer because of it. But all is not lost. Like I said, we live in a rich nation, and there’s more than enough resources available. It just needs to be put in the right places. We need policy changes in this country to do what’s right for people. Are you ready to help? Are you ready to make a difference? Here’s how:

  • Send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. The more people they hear from, the better the chances are that they will take action on this critical issue and craft more effective legislation. This link will take you to a quick form with a letter already written out. It only takes a minute to make your voice heard.
  • Learn more about food insecurity in this nation by watching the new documentary, A Place at the Table. The movie examines the implications of hunger in the USA on economic, social and cultural levels. It’s playing in some local markets but you can also find it on iTunes and Amazon.
  • Get involved with local and national organizations who work tirelessly to combat hunger.

Today’s quinoa “fried rice” recipe was created with limited food budgets in mind. In fact, all three recipes I’m publishing this week are low-cost, high taste value recipes. You can also check out my post from Saturday about grocery shopping on a budget. It outlines some easy ways that you can effectively grocery shop on a budget.

Quinoa "Fried Rice" Recipe

When I was originally thinking of a low-cost recipe, I had so many ideas. One thing I thought of that’s tasty but not very expensive to prepare is fried rice. But that sounded kind of plain-ish and not very exciting to me. However, this past week I saw a “fried rice” recipe made with quinoa on Eat, Live, Run, and I knew that was the direction for me. What I did was simply substitute quinoa for brown rice in my own previously created recipe, and it still worked beautifully.

Quinoa "Fried Rice" Recipe

Let’s take a quick look at the key ingredients in this quinoa dish. Actually, let’s start with the quinoa. I hope that by now many of you are familiar with quinoa. Interestingly, although it looks, acts and tastes like a grain, it’s actually part of the same family as beets and spinach (mind = blown). Quinoa is packed with protein, calcium, dietary fiber and is considered a super food. Basically, it’s a very beautiful thing.

Dried Quinoa - a delicious super food

One thing about quinoa is that you should only purchase fair trade quinoa. Since its rise to popularity, the price of quinoa in its native countries has sky-rocketed, making it too expensive for many people who traditionally relied on this valuable staple. Buying fair trade ensures that the farmers are paid a fair wage for the quinoa thus making it more sustainable in the end. To learn more, check out this fascinating article from Fair Trade USA.

Now that we know a bit more about buying quinoa responsibly, let’s take a look at the rest of the key ingredients. This is otherwise a very traditional fried rice dish. I’ve included peas and carrots, soy sauce, scrambled egg, ham, onion and just a touch of ginger. I like what the ginger contributes to the dish: tangy, spicy, and earthy flavors. The scrambled egg and ham give this dish quite a bit of protein, making it filling.

Quinoa "Fried Rice" - Key Ingredients

This recipe is just one example of what is possible when creativity meets small food budgets. For many home cooks, having the time and money to cook is an extreme challenge. Many are having to resort to processed foods since they are so cheap and readily available. What’s most unfortunate is that the government subsidizes some of the most unhealthy foods thus basically helping to increase the rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in this country. It truly is a sad state of affairs when that’s the case. And right now, that’s the case.

Quinoa "Fried Rice" Recipe

So what we can do here today is prepare our quinoa dish and think long and hard about how many people in this country are food insecure and need help. The SNAP program and local food banks are lifelines for many people in this country. Please take action today to help see how you can make a difference.

Yield: 3 servings

Quinoa “Fried Rice” Recipe

This Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe is a cost-effective, easy to prepare meal that's sure to please the entire family. It's loaded with fresh veggies and protein to create a filling, satisfying meal.

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup large diced onions
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped smoked ham
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
1/2 cup soy sauce

Method:

  1. Start the recipe by simmering the quinoa, water, and teaspoon of soy sauce in a covered pot for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once done, uncover pot and set aside for now. Stir from time to time after the pot is off the heat to help cool the quinoa a bit.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the large egg, 1/8 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon of rice vinegar. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  3. Cook the egg gently in a small skillet until set. Break the cooked egg up with a spatula and set aside for now.
  4. In a wok or large skillet, heat canola oil over high heat and add onions and kosher salt. Stir well then allow the onions to sit in the pan for about 2 minutes until seared and browned a bit.
  5. Turn heat down to medium high, add the chopped ham and continue to cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the ginger and cook about one minute, until fragrant.
  7. Add the cooked egg, cooked quinoa, peas/carrots, and half cup of soy sauce to the wok or skillet. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
  8. Cook for 2-3 minutes (stirring frequently) until all ingredients are warmed through then serve.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:15 minutes

Total:45 minutes

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Full Disclosure: I was contacted by The Giving Table to produce this post. They provided links and guidelines for posting, but I was not compensated monetarily. As always, all views expressed here are sincere and my own.

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