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Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

​No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Rice is always popular in a stir-fry dish, but why not give another grain a chance? This tropical entree will make you feel like you're dining in some warm, exotic spot (until you finish it, anyway). And quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all the necessary amino acids, so it's an excellent meat replacement however you cook it.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

You will need:

1 cup quinoa

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup water

3 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

4 ounces cashews (raw and unsalted if you can find them)

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 green onions

2 cloves garlic

1 red chile pepper

1-inch piece ginger

1 red bell pepper

1 cup green peas (frozen is okay)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons mint leaves

3-4 cups fresh pineapple

3 tablespoons vegetable stock

1 tablespoon mirin

1-2 limes (optional; for garnish)

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

1. Rinse the quinoa and drain. (This grain can have a bitter taste if you don't rinse it well.) Combine with the pineapple juice and water, plus 1/4 teaspoon of the soy sauce, in a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; then lower the heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid. (This could take anywhere from twelve minutes to thirty; I like to use lower heat and cook it longer.)

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

It should look like this when you're finished. For the best stir-fry results, chill the covered quinoa while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (you can also place it in an air-tight container and chill overnight in the fridge, but cooling it for an hour or so works just fine).

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

2. If you're using a whole, fresh pineapple -- which we recommend -- then cut the bottom and the top off, remove the rind and cut the fruit off the core before chopping it into cubes. (You can store any leftover pineapple in a container in the fridge for snacking.)

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Peel the ginger and cut into little pieces.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Slice the green onions.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Slice the red chile pepper.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

De-seed the bell pepper and slice it into thin strips.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

3. Stack the basil leaves on top of one another.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Roll that stack of leaves into a tube ...

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Then slice it into thin ribbons.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Chop the mint, then pat yourself on the back. You've finished your prep work!

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

4. Place the cashews in a large skillet -- at least eleven inches in diameter -- and cook over low heat in the dry pan, stirring occasionally for four to five minutes, or until they are lightly toasted.

Remove them from the pan and set aside; raise the heat to medium and add the peanut oil to the skillet.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

While the cashews are toasting, combine the remaining soy sauce with the vegetable broth and mirin and keep on hand.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

5. Saute the onions in the hot peanut oil for a minute or so.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Press the garlic into the skillet and stir-fry until the garlic begins to brown (this should only take a minute or two).

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Add the chile pepper and the ginger and stir-fry for another two minutes.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Add the peas and the red bell pepper and stir-fry for another three to five minutes, until the bell pepper has softened.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

6. Now it's time to add the pineapple; cook for three to four minutes in the skillet.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Add the basil and the mint and stir for another minute or so.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Looking awesome.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

7. Add the quinoa and the soy sauce-broth-mirin mixture and toss thoroughly to coat. Stir-fry for fifteen minutes or so -- you might want to use two spoons to help move the quinoa around the skillet. Everything should be very hot.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

8. About a minute before the stir-fry is done, toss in the cashews and stir into the mixture.

Quinoa stir-fry with pineapple and cashews for Meatless Monday

Serve with lime wedges for garnish.


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