Quinoa gets transformed into comfort food

In the midst of one of the snowiest and coldest winters we have had in Michigan in many years, I can’t stop craving comfort food. Unfortunately, eating my go-to feel-good dishes like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and fried chicken is not an ideal diet. Making an effort to eat fresher, heartier, and healthier meals every day, I went on the search for a recipe that would please my winter comfort cravings as well as my waistline.

And what I discovered was the amazing whole grain bowl concept. With a base of whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, these dishes provide protein and nutrition while filling you up. I have become obsessed with the fresh ingredients and the flexibility of adding anything you like to the bowl, and here is one of my favorite combinations.

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Stir Fried Rice and Black Quinoa with Cabbage, Red Pepper and Greens

Prep/Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 bunch of greens, washed and coarsely chopped (recommended: kale and chard; however, you can use any favorite greens)
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 to 3 teaspoons minced ginger
2 eggs
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
6 ounces firm tofu, diced (substitute in cooked chicken if you prefer)
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
½ medium or small head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1½ cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
2½ cups cooked black quinoa, room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce, to taste
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • Combine garlic and ginger in small bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and season with a pinch of salt.
  • Heat wok or skillet over high heat. Swirl oil in bottom of pan. Add eggs and cook like a thin pancake on both sides. Transfer to a plate and cut into strips.
  • Add more oil to pan and add tofu (or other protein). Stir-fry for a minute or two until it begins to color. Swirl remaining oil and add garlic, ginger, chard and red pepper. Stir-fry for two minutes, then add cabbage and scallions. Stir-fry for one minute and add rest of greens, cooking until leaves wilt. Add rice and quinoa and stir-fry for about two minutes. Add soy sauce, more scallions, tofu, eggs and cilantro. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (4 servings):
434 calories; 16g fat; 56g carbohydrates; 10g fiber; 506mg sodium; 17g protein

Recipe courtesy of New York Times.

What are some of your favorite healthy comfort food dishes?

 

Photo credit: Andrew Scrivani

 

Kristin Coppens

About Kristin Coppens

Kristin Coppens is responsible for BCBSM coverage of the West Michigan, Northern Michigan, and Upper Peninsula regions. Kristin is a writer, social media enthusiast, and information junkie. A self-proclaimed foodie, techie, and political nerd, she is a dedicated promoter of Grand Rapids community development, urban engagement, arts, healthcare, wellness, supporting and buying local, entrepreneurism, and the city as a whole.
 
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