Do you eat enough vegetables ? I know I don’t, but I’m making a real effort to change that. Part of my problem (ok, excuse) with not eating enough of them is that my husband eats NO vegetables at all, and my son isn’t much better, which makes it almost impossible to create interesting dinner recipes filled with vegetables. Instead, it’s usually some type of chicken or fish, some brown rice or potatoes, with veggies on the side for me. And since I’m watching the calories even closer lately (it really isn’t fair that the more weight you lose, the less you need to eat to continue losing, but that’s a
rant post for another day) I’m starting to cut back a little more on the olive oil, and let’s be honest, plain steamed vegetables can get boring.
One of my solutions for getting more creative with vegetables is to make recipes like this when I’m cooking to please nobody except myself, which is usually lunch time. But if you’re lucky enough to have a family that isn’t veggie-phobic, this would make a great dinner. You can keep it all-veggie or throw in whatever protein you have available..I’m already planning to add shrimp to my next batch. And of course, use your favorite vegetables and don’t feel like you have to use mushrooms, broccoli, or anything else that you may not be one of your favorites.
In addition to adding more vegetables to my diet, I’m also trying to eat less carbs and more protein, which is where quinoa comes into the picture. The first time I tried quinoa, I wasn’t crazy about it, but lately I’ve been eating more of it and I’m really starting to like it. In a recipe like this it’s a great replacement for rice. Now I could eat my weight in a good batch of fried rice, but again..those pesky carbs and calories. That being said, quinoa isn’t exactly a low-calorie food, which is why I go heavy on the vegetables and light on the quinoa in this recipe. What I like about quinoa is that it gives me a similar texture to rice plus the bonus of a little extra protein.
The flavor in this recipe comes from the garlic, onions, soy sauce, and most of all, the stir fry sauce. The sauce I use is a house brand from Wegman’s, my favorite local grocery store, and at only 30 calories for 2 tablespoons, I’ve been using it quite a bit lately. But if you’re not lucky enough to have a Wegman’s in your area (and, sadly, if you don’t live some where between Virginia and Massachusetts you’re out of luck) you can use any brand you like or make some from scratch. Making anything from scratch is always a good idea, but I do like to convenience of just opening a jar when I want to make something quick for lunch.
What’s your favorite way to add vegetables to your meals? And what about quinoa? Have you tried it, do you like it, and what’s your favorite way to prepare it? I’m always looking for new ideas, so I’d love to hear what everyone else is doing with these healthy ingredients!
- 1 tablespoon oil (I use sesame for flavor, but use what you like)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 small or medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2-3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
- Prep all of your vegetables first and have them ready in separate bowls as they will be added at different stages.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots, stirring often, and cook until they just begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add the broccoli, cook and stir about 2-3 minutes, then add the zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic, continuing to stir well so that the garlic doesn’t brown.
- Move the vegetables to the edges of the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the egg to the center of the pan. Once the egg starts to set, break it up with a spatula and cook until fully set, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
- Add the quinoa, soy sauce, and stir fry sauce, and combine all of the ingredients in the pan, continuing to stir. Cook about 2 minutes or until the the quinoa and sauces are heated through.
- Serve immediately and add additional soy sauce to taste if needed.