Happy Mother’s Day with a Vegan Gluten, Soy, and Egg-free Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe

May 8th, 2010 yum Posted in Chinese, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, corn free, soy-free challenges, tapioca starch free 9 Comments »

Before I had a child, I never would have believed someone if they told me that I would give up eating all of my favorite things in order to breastfeed my child. But, lo and behold, once Baby Yum joined us, I found out that there was no choice about the matter at all. My heart told me that restricting my diet even more than a typical gluten-free diet was the right thing to do, if it meant that I could nurture my child. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the dairy or the eggs I found myself missing the most- but the most basic staple of my pre-baby life- rice. Going rice-free has been the hardest thing I ever did. And no, an elimination diet this extreme isn’t necessary for most allergy-baby moms, but it seemed to help us, and I’m happy to say that I feel every day this bond with Baby Yum was worth the sacrifice. As you can see from a very recent picture the DH took of me with Baby Yum, I’m loving being a (relatively) new Mommy. And, on the food front, I’m also happy to say that I’ve found quinoa to be a wonderful substitute for rice, whether I’ve used it for satisfying wild sushi cravings or, most recently, in a wonderfully simple and tasty Chinese-style fried rice. This is a recipe the DH and I enjoyed recently, and I hope all you gluten-free Moms (and daughters, and sons!) enjoy it as well on this holiday.

All my best,
(Sorry I’ve been so busy lately, but those pesky PhD qualifying exams have kept me offline and with my nose pressed in a book… And when I’m not studying, my baby needs snuggles! I know you’ll understand, and you can count on more regular posts again after this hurdle is (hopefully) passed.)

Quinoa Fried Rice
3 cups Cooked Quinoa, chilled

2-3 tbsp. neutral oil (canola or peanut if you can have it)

1/4 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green peas
Small bundle of broccoli florets, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled. Grate 1/4 of it and slice the rest thinly, dicing 1/2 of those slices
White part of one scallion, halved

2 tbsp. Coconut Aminos or other soy-free sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1 to 2 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1/4 knob of ginger, grated (from above)
2 scallions- mince the white part and discard the leftover
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
pinch szechuan salt (if you have it)
pinch white pepper
pinch black pepper

Whisk together sauce ingredients and prep your veggies.

Heat wok on high. Add 2 tbsp of oil and heat until you see white smoke. Add slices of ginger and halved scallion. Let them turn brown and then remove from pan since they’ve flavored the oil. Toss in diced ginger (reserving a little) and quickly add your onion, carrots, and peas and stir fry until they soften slightly. Then add your broccoli. Toss a few times until broccoli has lost its bite… then pour on most of the sauce, reserving a little. Let sauce and veggies simmer for a minute or so and then remove from heat. Put veggies in a dish and reserve.

Heat wok again and add a little oil. If you like you can do half of the quinoa at a time… you’ll have better flavor. Add your little bit of reserved diced ginger and then toss half of your quinoa into the wok. Spread it around the wok and let it brown, and then stir it up. Brown a little more and then add half of your sauteed veggies and sauce, mixing in. Add a little leftover sauce and heat thoroughly.

Remove to a pretty serving dish and repeat.


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Soy-free and Rice-Free Challenge: Gluten-free Quinoa Vegetarian Sushi Recipe with no-soy sauce

February 6th, 2010 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, JM friendly, Japanese, Karina Friendly, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan, soy-free challenges 25 Comments »

quinoasush3iI can’t lie to you. Dealing with a gluten-free and top 8 allergen free diet plus some can be really tough. Gluten-free doesn’t even make me blink, but you start talking soy-free, egg-free, and even rice-free (my latest effort for Baby Yum), and some key dishes start getting to be a real challenge. Take sushi. There is nothing I love more than an avocado sushi roll, dipped in gluten-free soy sauce. But now both the sushi rice and the soy sauce are (temporarily) off the menu, what is a Japanese-food-loving girl to do? Get serious about thinking outside the box! I’ve been playing with the idea of a quinoa based sushi “rice” for a while now, but the soy sauce had me stumped. Usually I would sprinkle the sushi with sesame seeds and salt for a good soy sauce substitute for my soy-free friends… but right now I’m avoiding sesame seeds! Luckily I was in my local Cupertino Whole Foods the other day and found a miracle staring me right in the face- a bottle of gluten-free and soy-free soy sauce! This miracle potion is called Coconut Secret Raw Amino Acids and is compatible with a gluten-free as well as a raw foods diet. The price tag, unfortunately, is steep. In fact, I think I bought it in a delirious haze of joy and didn’t notice the price until later, at which point I gulped and felt (some) buyers remorse. quinoachirashiBut this stuff is so awesome and works perfectly in Japanese and Chinese recipes as a straight substitute for soy sauce that I didn’t feel bad for long. And it was the perfect partner to my quinoa sushi rolls! The week I made this, my father was visiting, and it passed the glutenoid test with flying colors. It’s not quite vegetarian sushi without rice, but this quinoa sushi satisfied my sushi craving nicely, and is a fun and new way to use a very healthful “grain.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

*If you don’t have nori you can make a chirashi “zushi” by sprinkling the filling over a nice bowl of the seasoned quinoa. Quick and easy, especially for leftover quinoa!

Gluten free Rice Free Quinoa Vegetarian Sushi Recipe
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

sushi vinegar:
1/4 cup of neutral vinegar (i used a filtered apple vinegar)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 green onions, quartered horizontally
2 carrots, peeled,sliced into long pieces and blanched
1/2 avocado, sliced

Unseasoned nori sheets

*A large recipe- you will have enough leftover quinoa for several servings of quinoa “chirashi” with vegetables sprinkled on top, unless you are cooking for a large group very hungry for “sushi” rolls.

Toast quinoa in a skillet on medium low, stirring to prevent burning. When quinoa is nicely toasted, move to a fine wire strainer and rinse. Pour into pan with water and bring to boil. Cover and lower heat and leave for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pan on low and let the sugar and salt dissolve into the liquid.

Put your quinoa in a large, glass bowl and drizzle your sushi vinegar mixture over the quinoa. Fold it in for even distribution. Once quinoa has cooled, you can begin to make your sushi.

To prepare your sushi, get your nori sheet and place on a bamboo rolling mat. Cover the entire sheet with quinoa “sushi-rice” except for a horizontal strip at the bottom. Choose a line about 1 or two inches above the bare strip of nori and create a strip on top of the quinoa of filling ingredients. Make sure a small strip or two of green onions,blanched, thin carrot and a slice of avocado will be in every bite. Gently roll your nori together to form a cylinder and moisten the bare nori strip with water. Seal together and let rest while you make your desired number of sushi rolls.

When ready to serve, gently slice cylinders into bite size rolls. You may want to cut a wider roll at the ends where the quinoa mixture is the loosest.

Serve on a plate. If allergies don’t prohibit it, you can sprinkle the rolls with sesame seeds, but it is not necessary.

Enjoy with your favorite wheat-free soy sauce or one of the new soy-free sauces on the market like Coconut Secret’s Raw Coconut Aminos. (Yummy!)

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