I love stir-fry.
Growing up, my mom made it at least once a week with whatever she had on hand in the fridge – usually a combination of either chicken or beef with cabbage, peppers and carrots. I thought it was so exotic. Seriously, I thought my mom was so cool because she was cooking something so “different”. That makes me chuckle. What makes me chuckle even more is this little fun fact. Back in the day, I was a bit pickier about my food and refused to have my stir-fry actually on top of my rice. They had to be separate on the plate and I would sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on my rice. I did this until I left home and had to learn how to be a grown-up.
I have experimented with many stir-fries and most of the time I would pick my mom’s over my own, but I think I finally found one I would pick over any other. It was so good, that I was counting the minutes until lunch today so I could enjoy the leftovers. And, as an interesting twist, it’s vegan!
I received the book, Veganomicon, for Christmas and this recipe will make me go back to the cookbook to try more vegan recipes. For the record, I’m not Vegan or a Vegetarian (not that there’s anything wrong with that. Seinfeld, anyone?). I had heard great things about this cookbook from some friends and I love to have a variety in my diet. I did not miss the meat in this recipe – I wanted to dive into the pan. I made Brette eat it too and he liked it as well – though at the time he was a bit preoccupied with those dang Vikings so I didn’t necessarily get the reaction I had hoped for.
I made some adjustments based on my preferences. I will post the original recipe here with my adjustments written in.
If by chance you’re worried about lack of protein, never fear. Between the quinoa, cashews and edamame, protein is abundant.
Pineapple – Cashew – Quinoa Stir-fry
from Veganomicon, with adjustments from Jen
Notes: The thing about stir-fries is to have all your ingredients prepped before you start because once you start cooking, it goes quick. That’s what I love about a stir-fry, it’s perfect for a weeknight when time is so valuable.
The recipe suggests making the quinoa the night before and making sure it’s cold before adding it to the stir-fry. I made mine and threw it in the fridge while I prepped all my other ingredients which worked fine for me. However, if you have time to make the quiona on the weekend, it would make this all the quicker for a weeknight supper.
1 C. quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 C. pineapple juice (I used the juice from a 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks)
1 C. cold water
1/4 tsp. soy sauce
4 ounces cashews, raw and unsalted (mine were already roasted and salted so I skipped step one. I also only used about 3 oz.)
3 Tbsp. peanut oil (I used canola with great results)
2 scallions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds (I used a jalapeno with seeds and it wasn’t too spicy. Next time I will try the red chile)
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 C. frozen green peas or edamame (I went for the edamame since Brette does not like peas and the edamame offered more protein)
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin shreds
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
10 oz fresh pineapple, cut into chunks, about 2 cups (I used canned because I could get the juice from the same can)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. mirin
Lime Wedges for garnish.
Prepare the quinoa: Combine the quinoa, juice, water, and soy sauce in a medium-size pot. Cover, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir a few times, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 12-14 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Uncover, fluff, and let cool.
Prepare the stir-fry:
Use a large nonstick skillet (I used a 12-incher) or wok. Place cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. (or skip, if your nuts are already toasted).
Remove cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium, and add the peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlice starts to sizzle, add the chile pepper and ginger. Sir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper and peas (or edamame). Stir-fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the pepper is softened and the peas are bright green.
Add the basil and mint, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple and quinoa.
Combine the soy sauce, veg stock, and mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry 10 minutes or so , until the quinoa is very hot (2 wooden spatulas made this job easier).
Sprinkle with cashews. Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce to taste.
Question: What is your favorite stir-fry or stir-fry ingredient? Although this is my current favorite, I would love to hear what you’re cooking up!