Quinoa Fried Rice

This non-traditional fried rice recipe uses quinoa in place of long grain white rice for a more nutrient dense spin on a takeout classic. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare (just make sure to cook your quinoa in advance), and is sure to be a hit at dinner, even amongst the pickiest eaters. Plus, it’s packed with veggies for a rainbow of healthy vitamins and phytonutrients.

Quinoa, which is often referred to as an “ancient grain,” is actually a seed in the amaranth family. It is native to the Andean region of South America where it is commonly used as a substitute for animal proteins when they are unavailable.

Compared to grains like rice and wheat, quinoa is higher in protein, fiber and other vitamins and nutrients. A cup of cooked quinoa contains a little over 4g of protein and close to 3g of fiber. Its nutrient profile makes it a healthier and more satiating option. And, unlike most plant-based protein sources, it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

It is especially high in the amino acid lysine, which is often low in plant sources of protein. Lysine may aid in bone health by balancing calcium absorption and retention. It is also high in many different plant compounds that lend anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties when consumed.

Because quinoa is higher in fiber and has a lower glycemic index than rice, the easy swap will also help to minimize blood sugar spikes, ultimately preventing an energy crash and subsequent cravings for sugary foods.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a bowl of takeout, try this “healthified” Quinoa Fried Rice instead. It makes great leftovers as well!


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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)