Of all the recipes we have tried over the last few weeks, this is far and away the best. It has two of my favorite ingredients: pineapple and cashews, is fast to cook and is the kind of dish where you have to remind yourself to slow down while you eat it.
Lately I’ve been trying to build up a repertoire of fast, nutritious recipes because I’m already starting to think about how I will be able to feed Nick and myself when the baby arrives. We’ve already decided we would spend a good bit of time cooking and freezing meals in August for the first few weeks, but I think we’ll also make a bunch of grains and beans ahead of time too so that we can just thaw them and throw together a meal like this after the initial shock of parenthood has worn off, I think cooking will be rather therapeutic. We’ll see though!
Anyway, this one is good for a quick weeknight meal no matter what you are expecting. The recipe is from the Veganomicon.
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
¼ tsp soy sauce
4 ounces cashews, raw and unsalted
3 tbsp peanut oil – we used sesame oil because of Nick
2 scallions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds
½ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup frozen peas or cooked edamame
½ cup fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin shreds
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
10 oz fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chucks—this will be able two cups (we used canned pineapple so we would have the juice too.)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable stock
1 tbsp mirin
lime wedges for garnish
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 12-14 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is plumped and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff and let cool.
Prepare the stir-fry
Use the largest nonstick skillet you have or a wok. Have all of the ingredients chopped and ready. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4-5minutes.
Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the oil, scallions and the 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 3-4 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 the vegetable stock and the mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixtures. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry for 14 minutes, until the quinoa is very hot. Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce and season to taste.