Alex Appel, clinical dietitian for Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services, offers a healthy alternative to the popular – but not-so healthy — Oriental dish, fried rice. Alex’s makeover starts by exchanging refined white rice for nutty, wholesome quinoa. Quinoa is a South American whole grain packed with fiber and protein. In addition to the many health benefits of quinoa, it is fast-cooking and easy to incorporate or substitute in any dish that might call for rice or pasta. You can find it in the rice and grain aisle of most grocery stores.
Quinoa “Fried Rice”
• 1.5 cup uncooked quinoa
• 2 ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
• 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
• 3 tsp sesame oil (canola oil will work too)
• 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 Tbsp lime juice
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 3 Tbsp chopped scallions (green and white)
• 4 Tbsp chopped cilantro (reserve 1Tbsp for garnish)
• ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
• ½ cup chopped carrots
• ½ cup shelled edamame
• ½ Tbsp sesame seeds
• Rinse quinoa well. Add quinoa and chicken broth to a pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover the pot, and let the quinoa simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove pot from heat. Let the quinoa sit, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
• While quinoa cooks, in a small bowl combine the lime juice, garlic powder, low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. Whisk well.
• In a large bowl combine carrots, bell peppers, edamame, scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds.
• Once quinoa is cooked, toss cooked quinoa with cut veggies and dressing; serve warm
• Garnish dish with extra scallions and cilantro.
Nutrition facts per serving: 150 calories; 38 calories from fat; 4.2g fat; 0.5g saturated fat; 160mg sodium; 22g total carbohydrates; 3g dietary fiber; 4g sugar; 6g protein