“In the Door” Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice | www.kiwiandbean.com

The Bean—now three years old—recently discovered the power of “why”. In a big way. As in:

Me: Let’s get dressed.
The Bean: Why are we getting dressed?
Me: Because we are going outside.
The Bean: Why are we going outside?
Me: Because it’s a beautiful day.
The Bean: Why is it a beautiful day?
Me: [Stumped.] Put your socks on and stop asking questions.

I have a feeling I’m supposed to welcome this to and fro as a signal of my child’s robust intellectual development. So why do I find it so dang annoying? And how the heck is it possible for a three year old to routinely stump an adult some 20 years (ahem) her senior?

When I next serve up this quinoa dish—one of the Bean’s favourites, incidentally—I imagine she might ask: Why do you call this quinoa dish “fried rice”? A good question, indeed. And perhaps a sign that we (I) have taken this quinoa thing too far. Why not just make rice fried rice? 

Quinoa Fried Rice | www.kiwiandbean.com

I’m stumped.

Truth is, you could probably make this dead-simple dish with just about any leftover cooked grain or seed. I happen to like quinoa for its quick cooking time, above all. With two little ones, I rarely leave myself enough time to cook up a big pot of brown rice. So I just reach for the quinoa instead.

If you have some leftover quinoa (or rice), this dish takes just a few minutes to prepare—the hallmark of my “in the door” recipes, which are designed to be whipped up when you find yourself in the door and out of time. The recipe calls for frozen mixed vegetables, which are a great timesaver, but you can substitute fresh diced vegetables if you like.

Quinoa Fried Rice | www.kiwiandbean.com

To boost the volume and up the protein-content, you can add chopped cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu towards the end of the cooking time.

I’ve deliberately kept the salt and spice to a minimum for the little eaters. Adult eaters might like to add an extra drizzle of soy sauce and a squirt of sriracha.

Quinoa Fried Rice | www.kiwiandbean.com

“In the Door” Quinoa Fried Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (or rice)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • A small (2 inch approx) chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized frying pan or skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the green onion and grated ginger and stir until they become fragrant, about one minute. (If you are using fresh vegetables, add them now, and sauté until tender-crisp.)
  2. Add the quinoa and mixed vegetables and cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan, for a few minutes, or until vegetables and quinoa are warmed through.
  3. Move quinoa mixture to one side of the pan, add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the other half, and break the eggs over the oil. Beat the eggs gently with a fork while they cook through, and then stir the cooked egg into the quinoa mixture. (You are essentially making chunky scrambled eggs, and then stirring them into the quinoa.)
  4. Stir in the soy sauce/tamari and sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  5. Season to taste, and serve immediately. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave with a few drops of water.


3 Responses to “In the Door” Quinoa Fried Rice

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