Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Curry Fried Rice......& quinoa too

I love Curry Fried Rice.
Lizzard Loves....Curry Fried Quinoa
Chris & I have a standing Friday date night which hinges upon 2 things we both love:
1. WTTW's Check, Please! (if you've never watched it you are missing out on easily one of the best free things Chicago has to offer! WTTW is one of Chris & my favorite stations - its quite easy to have a favorite when you only get 5 or 7 channels on any given day; but that is not in anyway meant to diminish the love we share for WTTW specifically & PBS more broadly!)
2. The hole in the wall Thai place we frequent, New Thai Kitchen
 (our top favorite things we love about it: 1. the couple who owns & runs it are incredibly friendly and warm. Sometimes their kids are there to help out. I love family owned businesses. 2. If you order online & eat piggish amounts of food; they reward you with more food for free. I love free food, particularly of the delicious variety. 3. Their Curry Fried Rice - it is terrific.)

Sounds like somebody went & got old doesn't it?!?! Well, you're right; we did. We stay in on every Friday we can (gasp!) and we love it (double gasp!!)

Chris and I decided to give up meat for Lent this year, which has been going really well. Who knew how much fun I would have trying out new vegetarian recipes? I did not anticipate enjoying this as much as I have been. We continue to eat fish & all things dairy; but bid adieu to poultry, pork & beef. I had never (until last week that is) prepared tofu at home; I don't dislike it, but a meat option always seemed easier (probably because I knew how to prepare it, what to expect, how long it would take, etc etc). But taking this vegetarian road less traveled led me to this simple tofu recipe 
Lizzard Loves.....all the tofu ingredients
I made the marinade in the morning, sliced & pressed the tofu & let it have a workday long bath in the marinade in my fridge. The recipe recommends turning the tofu in the marinade; I didn't - because I was a few miles away at work & the end product was still delicious.
This is all a long lead in to why I was motivated to try my hand at making curry fried rice at home. I found a basic recipe here (and from a PBS food blog........WTTW happens to be the Chicago affiliate of PBS.....see above for my love of WTTW). I had purchased ingredients I like in fried rice before I found a specific recipe & none of them were called I adapted the recipe to fit my taste. 
Lizzard tofu a marinade bath :)
I had a bit of a hiccup when I realized that the rice I had planned to use in this recipe had gone rancid in my pantry. You may have guessed that we do not prepare a lot of rice in our home & you would've guessed right! It takes a looooooong time for rice in an air tight container to go bad. How long? I'm not sure because I honestly can't remember the last time I made rice at home! Rancid rice was going to be a quick way to ruin my fried rice I took a leap of faith & prepared mine with quinoa instead. Quinoa never has a chance to go bad in our pantry; we eat an awful lot of quinoa around here!

We both loved the dinner and have been pleasantly surprised by our new vegetarian diets, however temporary they may be. Here is my version of curry fried rice: 
Lizzard Loves....the ingredients for Curry Fried Quinoa

Curry Fried Quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
10 baby carrots, finely diced (or 1.5 full carrots. I just never have full sized carrots in my fridge anymore!)
2 c snow peas, sliced in half on the bias/diagonally (I think this is prettiest, you could just cut them in half! It makes it much easier to eat the meal if you cut them somehow though :) 
1 1/2 c bean sprouts
4 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa yields approximately 4 cups cooked)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hot madras curry powder
scant 1 tbsp plain curry powder
1-2 tbsp water (as needed)
2 scallions, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds 

1.  Chop. chop. chop. Prepare all the veggies (as well as the quinoa if you don't have any leftovers to use) first. Once you start cooking, the pan will need your undivided attention because you are cooking at a high heat.
2. Beat the eggs vigorously with a fork in a bowl.
3. Heat half the oil in a large non stick saute pan (or- if you have the luxury of owning a wok & the implied luxury of a kitchen/home big enough to store it - use the wok!) over high heat. Add the eggs & scramble them with a spatula (taking care to break the eggs into small pieces. No one wants a huge bite of egg in their fried quinoa!) Once they are just barely cooked; remove them from the pan.
4. Add the other half of oil to your still hot pan, swirl it to coat the pan, then add the onions & carrots. Stir fry until the carrots are cooked/tender. The amount of time this will take varies based on the size of your dice :) The smaller the pieces, the quicker they cook.
5. Add the garlic to the pan and stir fry until fragrant, less than 1 minute (don't over cook the garlic; it will scorch & turn bitter if you do :(
6. Add the quinoa & snow peas, stir fry until the quinoa is hot.
7. Sprinkle both curry powders over your pan along with the soy sauce. If the stir fry seems too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired moisture level.
8. Add the bean sprouts, cooked eggs, and scallions and stir to combine.
9. Taste test (one of the best parts of cooking) and add salt & pepper as desired.
10. Open a bottle of lightly sweet white wine, or a delicious IPA (my choice was Deviant Dale's IPA.......sometimes you just need a tall boy after you cook a great meal :) Enjoy your quinoa with the tofu you may have also prepared, or just on its own. Its great either way.
Lizzard Loves....a delicious IPA and dinner!
PS- I also love when my friends start wonderfully fun businesses! The koozie is compliments of a favorite small business of mine, Let's Bev, Check them out - you won't be sorry!


  1. I can't wait to make this recipe:) And thank you sooooooooooo much for the shout out!!!!! XOXO

  2. Stace- you're welcome- who doesn't love a shout out?? I hope you've had a chance to try the recipe- let me know what you think if you do!