“How do we write a funny preamble about this one?” CB’s question is completely serious. She asks this while tipping her bowl to drink the last dregs of the Quinoa Pad Thai sauce. Some things just fall straight into your lap, don’t they?
The question of humour here is a serious one because we need to somehow disguise the fact that, apart from doubling, tripling or, in some cases, quadrupling the most unhealthy parts of the recipe and changing the name of the dish, this is pretty much the same as Iowa Girl’s Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls. Her recipe here is pretty perfect but she has clearly intended for this to be a healthy dish and I just couldn’t see myself okaying a recipe that only gave me 1/4 of a chicken breast/portion. You will of course have noticed that almost every recipe posted in this blog so far contains considerable amounts of chicken; it’s no coincidence that CB’s iPhone autocorrect, “Mandi’s” to “Nando’s”…
That being said, I’ve given this some serious thought and this is a recipe that will easily and effectively become vegetarian by replacing the chicken with tofu or Quorn chicken pieces, prepared however you like it. The truth is, the chicken isn’t the star of the show – it’s just a convenient and tasty vehicle.
The recipe is tasty, quick and, if you halve the amount of peanuts and peanut butter (oops), it’s pretty healthy. I recommend it for weeknights when you don’t have the time or inclination for anything fancy but want to maintain at least a modicum of good nutritional practice. In the ingredients, I have listed a bag of stir fry and edamame beans as separate items but we found that Sainsbury’s does an edamame stir fry pack which will tick both of these boxes perfectly.
Serves 3 (generously)
Stir Fry Mix:
120g uncooked quinoa
300ml vegetable or chicken stock (use only half a stock cube)
2 teaspoons groundnut oil
2 chicken breasts (about 200g)/about 300g of Quorn chicken pieces or tofu
Your favourite chicken/meat alternative seasoning
1 family bag of stir fry mix
150g edamame beans
2 spring onions, finely sliced
30g of peanuts, roughly crushed.
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped (more if you want)
Juice of 1 lime
40ml low-sodium soy sauce
40ml rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
3/4 tsp sugar (optional)
1.5 very heaped tbsp peanut butter (crunchy if you have it)
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
- Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa. Place a lid on top then lower heat and cook until quinoa has absorbed the stock. This should take about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside
- Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 30 seconds.Stir until as uniform as possible. Set to one side.
- Beat the egg and a drop of oil in a small bowl then set aside.
- Season and cook your chicken or alternative as preferred: we always use the George Foreman for 10 minutes but you could similarly pan fry it for about 5-8 minutes on each side. Either way, only dice the chicken when it’s cooked, to maintain succulence.
- Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in pan then add the stir fry and edamame and the spring onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes then create a well in the centre of the pan and pour the egg mixture straight into this until softly scrambled. Don’t mix it in yet.
- Add your finished chicken or alternative, quinoa, sauce, and half the chopped peanuts to wok then toss to combine until the egg is cooked. Add lime juice.
- Serve with remaining chopped peanuts, plenty of chopped coriander.
At this point, we measured out our desired 50g ish of nuts and, on finding that there was barely a handful of nuts left at the bottom of the packet, we both looked at each other and agreed, without words, to empty the whole thing in. Slippery slope…