A healthy take on fried rice, this pineapple “fried” quinoa is delicious and super fun served in a pineapple boat. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
Remember my shrimp fried quinoa recipe? I’m sure many of you do because it’s an easy weeknight meal that everyone seems to love. Well today I have a fruity take on that recipe. It’s a spruced up version with fresh pineapple, lots of veggies and edamame. This version also skips the eggs so it’s perfect for all my vegan friends who want to get in on the fried quinoa action.
To make the presentation super fun I served this pineapple fried quinoa in a pineapple boat!!
Obviously serving the dish in a pineapple boat isn’t 100% necessary, but it does make the dining experience just a tiny bit more enjoyable. There’s really nothing better than eating food out of a fruit bowl. Am I right?
This whole idea was inspired by a local Thai restaurant, Sabai, that serves their pineapple fried rice in a pineapple bowl. I’ve actually never ordered this dish at the restaurant — I usually go for the Papaya Salad and Massaman Curry — but I’ve seen it being served to other diners and and it always looks so fun.
The flavor of this fried quinoa is very similar to that of pineapple fried rice. You still get all that grainy goodness and the sweet, fresh pineapple combined with the salty, spicy sauce is perfection.
On the health front, this dish is loaded with fresh veggies and has a good source of protein from the quinoa and edamame. Plus the sauce, which is just a simple mixture of reduced sodium tamari, sambal oelek and lime juice, is quite light in comparison to most sauces you’ll find at restaurants.
If you’re new to tamari, it’s just a gluten-free soy sauce. You can use coconut aminos or soy sauce instead. And the sambal oelek is just a spicy chili paste, similar to sriracha but without any added sugar. We have both because I like using sambal oelek for cooking and sriracha for adding spice to finished dishes.
Added bonus, this dish shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes or so to whip up. Once the quinoa is cooked and the pineapple boats are ready, everything is simply tossed in a large skillet and heated. Quick and easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. Enjoy!
1–2 teaspoons sambal oelek or homemade garlic chili sauce
juice from 1/2 lime
green onion, sliced thin, green part only
1/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped
Prepare quinoa if you haven’t already: Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes; fluff quinoa with a fork. Allow to cool. This step can be done the day before.
While quinoa is cooking, prep pineapple by cutting it in half lengthwise. Scoop out pineapple flesh using a knife and a spoon so you’re left with two pineapple boats for serving. Chop the fruit and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until mixture is fragrant and onions are translucent.
Add fresh pineapple, edamame, tamari, sambal oelek, edamame, lime juice and cooked quinoa to the pan. Stir to combine.
Cook mixture on medium-high for 5-7 minutes or until everything is heated through. I like turning the up the heat quite a bit so that all the sauce is soaked up or evaporated and the quinoa starts to crisp up a little in certain spots.
Transfer cooked quinoa mixture into pineapple bowls, top with cashews and green onion and serve. Add extra sambal oelek or sriracha if you need more spice.