One-pan quinoa & chicken stir-fry

Mama Steph's latest recipe is low in fat, inexpensive to make, and is really delicious!

  • 16 oz boneless/skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces (or use shrimp or scallops when available)
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa  (make a batch of  brown rice, if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced snow peas, (1/2 inch thick), or whole green beans (fresh or frozen steamer bag)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ginger paste, optional, to taste

1.  Toss chicken with 2 teaspoons soy sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2.  Make the quinoa:

Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and the quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add  the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't scorch on a hot burner.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Then, stir in 2 tsp soy sauce. Place quinoa into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

3.After  carefully wiping it out, heat the large skillet over medium-high heat again until a drop of water sizzles when dropped on the cooking surface. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil, then the chicken, and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side (this will vary depending upon how large your chicken pieces are; there should be no pink in the center when you cut one to check.) Add the chicken to the quinoa; cover to keep warm.

4. Add two tsp canola oil to the skillet once more, and warm it before adding chopped vegetables (bell pepper, mushrooms, and scallions). Stir-fry the veggies until tender-crisp, about four minutes. Add ginger paste, if using, and stir in, as well as one can of drained water chestnuts. Allow to warm for a minute or so, and then, remove from heat.

5.  Add the vegetables to the quinoa and chicken, stirring gently until combined. Taste, and if not quite salty enough, add a teaspoon of soy sauce, stirring in well.

Serve in bowls alongside a salad or, if not in the mood for healthy eating, an egg roll or two!

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