Chicken + Vegetable Fried “Rice”

chicken fried rice

I love cooking with quinoa. It’s easy to make, cooks quickly and is versatile. And as an added bonus, it’s a great plant-based protein source and is naturally gluten free. If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s time to start trying it. It can be added to any dish to replace rice or other grains and goes great with soups, stir-frys and salads. And on the sweeter side, you can cook up quinoa and dress it like you would oatmeal with berries, nuts, cinnamon and coconut milk. Check out my Crockpot Noodle-less Chicken Noodle Soup recipe where I replace noodles with quinoa in this super easy + tasty recipe.

I don’t know too many people who would pass up fried rice. It’s delicious, but it might not be the healthiest option, so I changed that. Here is a twist on fried rice where I load up on veggies, replace rice with quinoa and add some chicken for added protein. So now, fried rice is turned into a healthy + balanced meal. Definitely more than just a side dish.

Check out the full recipe + directions below!

 [step 1: sauté veggies.]

carrots + bell pepper

The great thing about this dish is that you can use pretty much any veggies you have in the fridge. I’m using carrots and bell pepper, but really any of your favorite veggies will do. Then there’s the edamame. Edamame is essentially a fancy word for soybeans, and mukimame for shelled soybeans. Purchasing them shelled is the way to go if you don’t want to spend the time peeling each pod.

Now I’m not a big fan of soy in general [i.e. soy milk or other processed soy products], but in its whole-food form, organic soy can be a good part of a healthy diet. Please choose organic soy products due to the majority of non-organic soy crops being genetically modified, or GMO.

 [pre-shelled frozen edamame, i.e. soybeans.]

edamame

This recipe is another one of my one pot wonder dishes where pretty much all the ingredients are added into the same cooking vessel, leaving you with less dishes. Now who doesn’t love that? The only exception here is the quinoa is cooked in a separate pot and then added to the rest of the dish once cooked. But first up, the veggies and soybeans get added to the pot until tender and cooked through. The frozen edamame is already cooked; it just needs to be defrosted and heated through.

 [step 2: add frozen shelled edamame.]

carrot, bell pepper, edamame

I had leftover chicken from the previous night’s dinner which I diced up and added to this dish. If you don’t have leftover chicken on hand you can cook up a few organic thighs or breasts, or omit the chicken all together for a vegetarian dish. I like to add the chicken for added protein, especially for dinner, but you’ll be getting some protein from the edamame, eggs and quinoa as well.

 [leftover diced chicken or cook chicken for this dish.]

diced chicken

See how easy it is to keep adding ingredients to the same pot? Too easy. I love it.

 [step 3: add chicken to the pot.]

carrot, bell pepper, edamame, chicken

I love the color and texture of this dish. The vibrant green edamame adds a nice little crunch mixed with the tender chicken and other veggies. And the toasted sesame oil in the sauce brings out the Asian flavor that you expect from fried rice. This is a whole new take on fried rice and I hope you love it as much as I do!

 [step 4: add quinoa + eggs and dinner is served.]

chicken + vegetable fried rice

Add a touch of sesame seeds to finish and dinner is served. Then box up the leftovers and you have a super tasty lunch the next day. Okay, yum, I’m getting hungry just writing this post. Time to go make some dinner!

 [finished product sprinkled with sesame seeds.]

chicken + vegetable fried rice2

Chicken + Vegetable Fried “Rice”

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa [any variety]
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled + diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 10-oz. bag frozen shelled edamame
  • 3-4 leftover organic chicken thighs, diced [can omit or cook chicken for this dish]
  • 4 organic eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos [I use the Bragg’s® brand]
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

Start by cooking the quinoa. Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup dry quinoa to a pot on high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid has absorbed. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add carrots + red bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add frozen, shelled edamame. Stir until edamame is defrosted and heated through. Add pre-cooked diced chicken. Once quinoa is done, pour cooked quinoa into pan with veggies. Add sesame oil, liquid aminos + red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Pour whisked eggs on top of quinoa/vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until eggs are scrambled and cooked through. Last, squeeze fresh lemon and top with sesame seeds. Plate and enjoy!

Serving suggestion: can add additional lemon or a squeeze of your favorite hot sauce.

Chicken + Vegetable Fried "Rice"
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry quinoa [any variety]
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled + diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 10-oz. bag frozen shelled edamame
  • 3-4 leftover organic chicken thighs, diced [can omit or cook chicken for this dish]
  • 4 organic eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos [I use the Bragg's® brand]
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the quinoa. Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup dry quinoa to a pot on high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.
  3. Add carrots + red bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add frozen, shelled edamame. Stir until edamame is defrosted and heated through.
  5. Add pre-cooked diced chicken.
  6. Once quinoa is done, pour cooked quinoa into pan with veggies.
  7. Add sesame oil, liquid aminos + red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour whisked eggs on top of quinoa/vegetable mixture.
  9. Cook, stirring constantly until eggs are scrambled and cooked through.
  10. Last, squeeze fresh lemon and top with sesame seeds.
  11. Plate and enjoy!

 

 

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Angela Freed

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