I cooked LIVE on YouTube last week for the very first time! I was soooo nervous, but it was also super fun and y'all seemed to love it. So much in fact that I think I'll be doing it more often! I took the popular RECIPE?! format and a pineapple that was about to turn and look at what we have here ... a pretty pineapple stuffed with fried rice-style quinoa with bell peppers, onions, toasted cashews, cilantro, mint, lime, and a sauce made with tamari, pineapple jackfruit jam, and rice vinegar.
If you missed the madness watch my live 1-hour episode below!
I'm not a huge quinoa fan and I think this would be better with fresh or leftover rice but I made quinoa because it cooks in only 10 minutes whereas rice is usually at least 30 minutes. I've tried to remember the ingredients and cook times as much as possible, but I've only made this the one time in the live video... so you know, improvise! Or should I say RECIPE?!
** makes 6 servings
pineapple fried quinoa ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1 ripe pineapple
1/2 cup whole raw cashews
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup pineapple jackfruit jam (see note below about substitute)
2 to 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bring a saucepan with quinoa, water, and sea salt to a boil. Once boiling give it a stir, add a lid, and turn heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile cut the whole pineapple in half lengthwise, through the green top as well. Gently cut out the inner flesh, being careful not to cut through the outer skin. You're going to use the half of the pineapple as a serving bowl for the fried quinoa. Finely dice up the flesh of the pineapple you just scooped/cut from the outer skin and save the other half for another recipe.
Lay out cashews on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning. Once the cashews are toasted and golden brown remove them from the oven and set aside. Roughly chop them once cooled to touch. You could also use store bought roasted cashews as well and skip this step.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high with the vegetable oil. Once hot add the red onion and bell peppers and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the sliced mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes.
Add about 1 cup of finely diced pineapple, minced garlic, ginger, chili flakes, and chili powder and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary so you don't burn the garlic.
While you're cooking the vegetables you can combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside. If you don't have pineapple jackfruit jam, which I assume you don't, use more finely crushed pineapple and the juice and maybe some apple sauce and/or sugar. Adjust to your taste!
Now add the cooked quinoa, 3/4 of the sauce, and 1/2 the chopped cashews, toss well and then spread the mixture in an even layer in the pan. Let it cook for 4 to 6 more minutes over medium high heat without stirring it, so you can develop some caramelization and "fried" looking crispy pieces.
Then turn off the heat and add green onion, fresh cilantro, and mint and stir to combine.
Fill the pineapple serving bowl with the pineapple fried quinoa and top with more fresh diced pineapple and the remaining cashews. Garnish with some herbs, if desired, and you can also drizzle a bit more lime juice and sauce on top before serving!