Spicy Quinoa and Leek Stir-fry

Going gluten-free is never an easy choice, especially for those of you who love bread. I had to thoroughly scan the supermarket aisles to look for variety, and you know how vast the supermarkets are here in Dubai. Luckily most of the bigger chains have a health section which features gluten, dairy and sugar-free options. Off late I find we’ve been skipping the mid section of the supermarket that features baked and processed food and go directly to the fresh produce section. About 75% of our supermarket trolley has fresh fruit and veggies! The rest is fresh fish, meat, eggs, camel milk, pulses and seasonings. We tend to avoid buying juices or any kind of junk food. No canned stuff for me, thank you. We make our own baked beans too, something my kids love so much.

Now, getting back to our superfood quinoa, this comes in a three varieties- black, white and red (in supermarket’s here) and I’m quite sure there must be a bigger variety from where this superfood originated. I’ve stuck with what’s easy for you guys to source here in the U.A.E. Today’s recipe share is a spicy Quinoa Stir fry (Thai style) for those of you who like a bit of spice and flavour to their meals. This is great for an office lunch, picnic or meatless Mondays. Try a milder version of this for your kids if they are open to experimenting with food preferences 🙂


2 cups pre-cooked black quinoa

1 leek cut into 1/2 inch roundels, without the green tops

2 Thai red chillies cut into large pieces

2 garlic cloves chopped fine

1 carrot cut into rounds

1 handful cilantro chopped

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (glutenfree)

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon Thai chilli sauce

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 tbsp sesame oil

Heat your wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to wok, add the garlic and let it change colour, then add the red chillies, leeks and carrots and cook until just until tender. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and chilli sauce and cook another 30 seconds. Now add the pre-cooked quinoa to this and toss well to combine. Ensure that the veggies still have a bit of crunch in them and don’t get soggy and overcooked.

Just before serving, garnish it with the chopped cilantro and toasted sunflower seeds.

Tip- Tofu lovers can try adding tofu instead of carrots. Just make sure to cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and stir fry prior to cooking the veggies. Add this just after you stir the quinoa into the wok.

Here’s my post on how-to-cook Quinoa.

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