Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir Fry

Haaaappy Birthday Russell! This dish, again from Veganomicon, was my lame excuse for a gift for one of my best friend's birthday. In my defense I made a delicious asian salad and peanut butter brownies as well! 
Quinoa is the grain of the gods and a vegan dream. Not only is it a perfect protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids, but it is delicious and can be used in place of rice, cous cous or almost any other grain. It has a super nutty flavor, but you have to make double sure you soak it first or it will be very bitter. You can either soak it in a strainer in a bowl full of warm water for about 20 minutes, or you can just rinse it really well a few times through if you are short for time and ready to cook. But it's worth the soaking. 
Okay, so after you finish soaking the quinoa put it in a pan with 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice,  1 1/2 cups of water and a few splashes of soy sauce. Bring it all to a boil, stir it a few times and then reduce it to a simmer for about 12-14 minutes. Make sure once it is done that you fluff it with a fork instead of stirring it because you don't want to squish the grains. Pop it in the fridge (or freezer if you are me and have no time) and let it cool. 
Then chop up all of your ingredients while you LIGHTLY toast your cashews. Please don't burn one side of them like I did because it makes everything a lot less pretty. Then add your oil, scallions, garlic and after another minute chili flakes and ginger. After another 2 minutes add your bell peppers (I just used the assorted baby bell peppers from trader joes to add color and different flavors) and edamame. Stir fry it all up for a couple more minutes and then add your spices, pineapple, quinoa, soy sauce and veggie stock and stir it all up. Then just let it stir fry for another 10-ish minutes and you are good to go! We mixed in some siracha sauce to spice it all up and then dug in! 

This dish is SO good and really delicious. I was surprised because I had been wanting to make it for a while and I'm go glad I did. Despite the number of steps it was actually really easy so you should make it! Do it! Go.

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