Well, Christmas is over for another year but the decorations are still up, the cupboards are still full of chocolate and were still in full on holiday mode. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) this means we haven’t quite got back to a picture of health and the occasional takeaway has been partaken of… But it’s nearly the first of January and I always need to take small early steps to wean myself off the junk and to get back on track. I’m not great at the clean slate/ cold turkey approach to the end of the holidays!
One step I have taken this week is to make my own Chinese instead of ordering in. Not only are the ingredients and cooking methods healthier when you cook your own but also you eat less because you don’t have a glossy menu tempting you to over order.
I used to make this with rice but I’ve been eating a lot of quinoa recently and I think it’s a worthy swap. If you are vegan then you can omit the egg and there is still plenty of protein in this dish! If you prefer then you can use rice, no biggie. I’ve used typical veggies found in the takeaway version of this dish including onion, red pepper, courgette and peas. Then I’ve built up the flavour with the classic combo of garlic, ginger and chilli…a must in any Asian dish!
Next year I will be categorising my recipes as ‘vegan, dairy free, gluten free’ etc because I realised that even though a lot of my recipes are suitable for all sorts of allergy sufferers it wasn’t obvious at first glance. Now I’m doing gluten free and veggie and mostly dairy free I find it frustrating reading through all of the ingredients first. If you see any mistakes or feel the recipe could fit into a category I’ve forgotten then please comment! I’m still learning and frantically label reading.
Wheat and Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegetarian, Vegan option
85g quinoa (1/2 heaped cup, 3oz)
1 red pepper
Handful frozen green peas
2 garlic cloves
Thumb sized piece fresh ginger
1 red chilli
2 large eggs (leave out if vegan)
1 tblspn gluten free (tamari) soya sauce
Large bunch coriander
Oil for frying
Cook the quinoa according to the packets instructions (usually just rinse well then boil in water for approx 10-15 mins and then drain).
Prepare the veg – wash all the vegetables (the peas should already be washed if frozen). Dice the courgette, peel and dice the onion, deseed and dice the red pepper. No need to defrost the peas you can add them into the wok frozen. Deseed and finely slice the chilli, peel and dice the ginger, peel and crush the garlic.
Heat some vegetable oil or groundnut oil in a wok. Add all of the chopped veggies and the garlic, ginger, chilli and also finely chop the coriander stalks and add them in.
Once softened add the quinoa to the pan and stir.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and then in a separate frying pan scramble the egg until it is just cooked and then stir it into the quinoa and vegetables.
Add around a tablespoon of soya sauce, taste and decide of you need any more or not. Stir in chopped coriander leaves and serve in a big bowl in the middle of the table with your choice of stir fried tofu and extra veggies etc etc.
There we go first step into a healthy 2013!