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?
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.
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.