Shrimp & Vegetable Quinoa

Many months ago, one of our office volunteers had talked about a dish she prepared using quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”).  I have seen quinoa in supermarket shelves before but haven’t had the chance to think about what I might do with this high-protein grain which is an important staple in South American cuisine. My first thought was that there is not much I can make of quinoa other than what I usually do with rice — as a side staple.  But after trying quinoa for the first time, many exciting ideas had crossed my mind, including this new recipe that incorporates quinoa as part of the dish, rather than as a side. Although I used shrimp in this recipe, you can always skip it and make this dish totally vegetarian. Once you’ve tried this dish, I am sure you will agree that the possibilities for this gluten-free grain are endless!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup gluten-free organic quinoa

2 cups water

8 pcs medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 tbsps garlic, peeled and crushed

1 fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips

1 cup asparagus tips and stems, cut into small pieces

1 cup snow peas

3/4 cups portabella mushrooms, sliced into tiny cubes

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, most of the liquid drained

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

2 tbsps olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Adding 2 cups of water, cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or in a small pot. Once cooked, flush with a fork and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large wok on medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until golden brown. Add ginger. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pinkish. Remove shrimp and set aside.  Using the same wok, add mushrooms, snow peas, asparagus and peas and carrots.  Stir-fry for about 3 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place about a cup of the cooked quinoa on a plate and top with the tomato mixture, cooked shrimp and pineapple chunks.

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