Vegetable “Fried” “Rice” : A Story in Accidentally Going Meatless

So zucchini and I needed a break, but I still wanted something fairly healthy.  Seriously. I’ve bought 3-4 large zucchini at the store every week for the past month.  I also was (weirdly) craving snap peas, which is a bit unusual.  And I’ve been craving fried rice off and on for the past few weeks, when I remembered this “stir fry” recipe from Food Network’s The Kitchen.  Making this yourself instead of ordering out keeps the sodium levels down, but (as per usual) I wanted to make some tweaks to tailor the dish to what I was craving.  The result happened to be meatless—I used edamame to add some protein, and didn’t feel like dealing with figuring out whether I was in the mood for chicken or salmon.  So without further ado…

Vegetable “Fried” “Rice”

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 package frozen, shelled edamame, thawed.
  • ½  package of spiralized carrots**
  • 2 medium-sized heads of broccoli
  • 3-4 handfuls of snap peas, ends trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • “Yum yum” shrimp sauce, spicy or mild based on preference
**Honestly, you probably could use normal carrots, but I was feeling fancy.  These usually are in the produce section along one of the walls/aisles.
Serves:  4

Preheat oven to 425.  Place one sheet baking pan on top of another, and add foil to the top pan.  Place pans in the oven while the oven preheats.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, here is the stove top version for quinoa:  Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut broccoli, snap peas and carrots into bite-sized pieces.  Once oven has heated, place vegetables and edamame on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place back in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Divide into vegetables and quinoa into four portions to serve.  When serving, drizzle (or dump, depending on your mood) yum yum sauce over the top of the vegetables and quinoa, and mix together.

Single Servings Meal Prep Version:  Cut all of the vegetables, add edamame, and divide into four portions in ziplock baggies with half of a paper towel (this will absorb any extra moisture and keep the veggies fresh).  Cook the quinoa at the beginning of the week as well.  Cook vegetables per above directions each night.  The benefit to this method is that you can switch sauces/marinades during the week to change things .


Now, why am I so obsessed with this lovingly-adapted recipe?  This ELIMINATES the destruction that usually occurs when I attempt fried rice on the stove.  I swear I don’t know how, but invariably my food goes everywhere.  The other thing I love about this recipe is how customizable it is.  Don’t like snap peas?  Add zucchini.  Not feeling Yum Yum sauce?  Throw on some teriyaki or sweet and sour sauce.  I also will swear by the sauce in the original recipe from The Kitchen.  Make it at the beginning of the week, add it to a mason jar and use as needed throughout the week.  Having a dinner party? Have picky eaters?  Everyone can make their own version of this, and you can cook the vegetables in smaller baking dishes.  My version is gluten free and vegetarian (I can assure you, that rarely happens), and can be turned vegan if you don’t add the Yum Yum sauce.  Or if you are a devoted carnivore, add the salmon from the original recipe, grill some steak, or just shred some rotisserie chicken.  Whatever you are in the mood for, this dish delivers.


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