Are you looking for a delicious meat-free meal to brighten up the start of the year? This stir fry recipe from Veganomicon was a dish that had been on my to-cook list for months, if not years. When I had a reason to put together the meal for a student who was also vegan and had a rough month a few months ago, I was so delighted to finally have a chance to put this together. When I was working on the leftovers a couple days later and wanted to add some additional protein to the meal and had some Gilbert’s sausages in the dish and reheated it in a skillet.
Pineapple-Cashew Quinoa Stir Fry
1 c quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1 c pineapple juice
1 c cold water
1/4 c soy sauce
4 oz cashews, raw and unsalted
3 Tbsp peanut oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 c frozen green peas or cooked edamame
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin shreds
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
10 oz fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp vegetable stock
1 Tbsp mirin
Prepare the quinoa first: 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 to 14 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears plumped and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff, and let cool.
For best results, place the quinoa in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. If you’re in a hurry, chill the covered quinoa for at least an hour. When ready to use, break up any chunks of the cold quinoa with a fork.
To prepare the stir-fry:
Use the largest nonstick skillet you have or a wok. Have all of your ingredients chopped and easily within reach. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium, and add the peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the sliced chile pepper and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper and peas. Stir-fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the bell pepper is softened and the peas are bright green. Add the basil and mint, and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.
In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetable stock, and mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry for 10 to 14 minutes, until the quinoa is very hot.
Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce, to season individual servings to taste.