If you've ever wondered or been asked how vegetarians or vegans get enough protein, have I got a recipe for you. With quinoa, edamame, and peanuts, it's supremely satisfying, but more importantly this is the most flavorful grain bowl I've ever made. The edamame mixture is a vegetarian version of kung pao chicken that's just as sticky-salty-spicy as its inspiration.
I added some some carrots, quickly heated up from the freezer, to fill out the bowl and balance the heat with some sweetness. Coming together in 20 minutes using freezer and pantry items, this quinoa bowl is a dynamo weeknight dinner.
The Freezer Factor
Carrots always seem to take a lot longer to cook than I think they will, especially now that I need them soft enough for an 18-month-old, so frozen carrots are especially helpful when I'm pressed for time during the week. I reach for frozen edamame often for the same reason, with an added protein benefit.
Quinoa Bowl with Kung Pao Edamame
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or other neutral, high-heat oil), divided use
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup frozen edamame
10 dried chiles de arbol
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups frozen carrots
Add 1 tablespoon sunflower oil to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the quinoa and sauté until the grains start popping, about 2 minutes. Add the water and increase the heat to high until the water comes to a boil. Stir the quinoa once, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and return to the pot until ready to assemble the bowls
Add 1/4 cup sunflower oil to a large skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the edamame, chiles, and peanuts and sprinkle with the sugar. Sauté until the edamame just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Pour the edamame mixture into a bowl, return the skillet to the heat, and add the carrots. Sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Divide the quinoa among four bowls. Top each with an equal amount of the kung pao edamame and carrots, and serve immediately.