Happy Friday, friends. As you read this post I am in Colorado, in the mountains whitewater rafting! I have been going on this trip from the age of 16 up to the year I graduated college. After college it has been a little more sporatic, because LIFE! But, this is one of my favorite trips and I am grateful that I get to go on it with some of my favorite people. Once I return home I would love to share pictures and stories of our rafting trip with you – I know, I know this is a food blog, not a travel blog, but who doesn’t love photos of mountains? For now let me paint you a brief picture of what our trip is like. We arrive in Colorado, spend two nights in a bed, then we rise at the crack of dawn to head out on our three day rafting adventure. The first day we have a full day of rafting, then we arrive at Camp Needleton exhausted – this camp is literally right in the mountains and right by the Animas River. The only contact with other people are other rafters, hikers, and the historic narrow gauge train that passes by twice a day. This isn’t your typical car camping experience. There is no electricity or plumbing, and there definitely aren’t any cell towers within reach – it’s a beautiful, wonderful, adventurous place! The next day we spend hiking around camp, exploring the beautiful area. The third day is another full day of rafting. We reluctantly end the trip with more pictures, stories to tell, and enthusiasm for our next year.
Now that you have an idea of what I am up to as you read this post, on to the food! (BTW I hope there are no mishaps when this post goes live, because if there are I won’t be able to check it; remember, no internet! Good luck little post!)
Pineapple and Ham Quinoa Stir Fry was there for us when we were crunched for time, as we were preparing for our Colorado trip. It’s quick and easy to make, reheats nicely, and is packed full of nutritious ingredients.
Picture it: you get home from work and all you want is a satisfying, filling meal, yet one that’s healthy for you, right? BUT the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. Trust me, even I know this feeling! This is the time to utilize your stir fry skills. All you do is get your quinoa simmering away and let it do its thing for 15 minutes. During those 15 minutes you cut and prep all of your ingredients needed for the stir fry. I mean ALL of your ingredients; get them each into separate bowls – the actual stir fry time goes so quickly – 10 minutes is all – there is no time to cut your veggies while things are cooking. Cut up that pineapple, cube your ham, open that can of water chestnuts and drain them, chop your cilantro, defrost your peas, whisk that egg, and even whisk up the sauce. It may seem like a lot to do but I totally have faith that you can get it all done in that 15 minutes while the quinoa cooks. Get all of the ingredients by the stove and get your pan ready. All you do is heat the oil, add the green onions and water chestnuts plus a little sauce, and cook those up for 3 minutes. Push the veggies aside and scramble your egg; mix everything together. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients plus the sauce, and allow it to heat through for several minutes. In just 25 minutes dinner is served! See, quick as class 5 whitewater rapids 😉 (bad joke!).
With all of those healthy veggies, complex carbs and protein from the quinoa, plus protein from the ham, this meal will stick with you. Who doesn’t love the sweet-salty combo of pineapple and ham? Plus the crunchy water chestnuts and cabbage are everything!
Make Pineapple and Ham Quinoa Stir Fry for a quick weeknight dinner. Leftovers reheat nicely so add it to your weekly meal prep – if that’s your thing, you rock – pack it for lunch. Just promise me one thing: that you will make this recipe, because trust me, you don’t want to miss out!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cups ham, cut into cubes
- 2 cups fresh pineapple cut into chunks
- 1 cup green cabbage, shredded (you could also use store-bought coleslaw mix)
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
- ½ cup cilantro, minced
- FOR THE SAUCE:*
- ½ cup gluten free soy sauce**
- 2 tablespoons sweet rice wine
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inches fresh grated ginger
- In a small sauce pot with a tight-fitting lid add the uncooked quinoa and water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- While the quinoa is cooking gather and prep all of your ingredients as described above and place them each in their own bowl by the stove.
- Whisk the egg and the sesame oil together; set aside.
- Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together; set aside.
- Once the quinoa is cooked heat a wok or a large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil and add the green onions and water chestnuts, plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Push the veggies up the side of the wok (or to the edges of the skillet). Add the rest of the coconut oil to the center of the pan. Once it's melted add the whisked egg. Gently scramble the egg by pushing the egg around the center of the pan. Once the egg is mostly scrambled, about 2 minutes, stir to combine the egg with the green onions and water chestnuts in the pan.
- Add the ham, pineapple, cooked quinoa, and sauce. Stir until well combined and allow to heat through, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the peas and cabbage. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers keep for 5 to 6 days and reheat nicely.
**If you are sensitive/allergic or are trying to avoid soy you can sub the soy for coconut aminos. I did try it in this recipe. However I prefered the soy sauce, but the coconut aminos is a great alternative. It tastes pretty close to the soy sauce; it's not quite as salty and a little more sweet. You might want to cut down on the honey in the sauce recipe if you do use the coconut aminos. I found coconut aminos in the organic section of my local grocery store. But, of course you can always find it onAmazon. I plan to do some more experimenting with coconut aminos in the future.
Recipe inspired by and heavily adapted from Iowa Girl Eats