Pineapple Quinoa

The other day Mike and I were talking about how much healthier the food we’ve been eating lately is compared a couple months ago. I mean, we have definitely had our fair share of ice cream and cake the past couple weeks, but it is SO much better than my first trimester bagel and ice cream sandwich diet. That coupled with the fact that EVERYTHING good is coming into season now makes me an extremely happy eater.

I am so happy to be back to normal eating, and super happy to still be running, although a couple days ago after a particularly atrocious run I was thinking I might be done. This weekend, though, was perfect, and I ran out to Fort Funston.

It was a beautiful day and even though it took me about 2 miles of warming up to feel normal, I had an awesome 4.5ish mile run. I’ve been trying to do something active every day, usually alternating yoga with running. I feel like I get slower every day, but just getting out there definitely helps me keep my sanity, especially since I spend my days with eighth graders who only have a few weeks of school left and are totally ready to be done!

This awesome meal comes from Veganomicon, and i think it was one of the first recipes I made when I bought the book three years ago. It’s pretty much like pineapple fried rice, but much more filling thanks to o the quinoa. You definitely want to have everything chopped and ready to go, because once you start, it comes together really fast. It’s superb while it’s still warm, and just as good cold for lunch the next day.

(adapted from Veganomicon)

1 cup qinoa
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup cashew pieces (raw and unsalted)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, sliced very thinly
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked edamame
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, cut chiffonade
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 a medium fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
lime wedges for garnish

Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and you can see the little curlicues on the quinoa. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

Toast the cashews in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and reserve for later use.

Raise the heat to medium. Heat the vegetable oil for about a minute, then add the garlic and green onions and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chili and ginger and cook another minute or two, then stir in the bell pepper and edamame. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper is softened. Add the pineapple, quinoa, basil, and mint and mix well.

Pour the mirin and soy sauce over the quinoa and continue to stir fry for another four to five minutes, making sure everything gets mixed well and heated through. Serve garnished with lime wedges.

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