Quick and Healthy: An Alternative to Fried Rice


Quinoa with black beans, sesame oil, soy sauce, raw carrots, and raw snap peas.

I’ve been taking baby steps toward keeping healthful, whole foods, and tons of veggies prepped and ready to eat.

My current goal has been to keep a batch of cooked beans, and a batch of cooked whole grain, such as quinoa, in the fridge at all times. We cooked these black beans with a bay leaf and salt and they taste pretty good on their own.

My husband has been eating the quinoa and beans for breakfast with a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. We originally got the idea to eat savory whole grains, instead of oatmeal  for breakfast, from Mark Bittman. Wheat Berries are delicious prepared this way. We also try to keep some sliced green onion in a bag in the the fridge so that he can sprinkle them on top. (FYI – he ate breakfast at the hospital today, eggs, potatoes, with green chile and fresh fruit, and he texted me at 11:00 saying he was WAY more hungry than usual. So skip the potatoes and eat whole grains instead!)

I had been eating the black beans and quinoa for lunch and having cut up veggies on the side, when I had the idea to put the raw veggies in the quiona.

The result?

A perfect 2 minute meal!


This has been my lunch for the past two days:

3/4 C. Quinoa

2/3 C. Black beans (made from dry beans cooked with bay leaf)

2 tsp. Sesame oil

Splash of Soy sauce

1 Raw carrot, diced

6 or 7 Raw snap peas, sliced

This is the perfect 2-minute-meal and a healthy alternative to fried rice! It really did taste like fried rice, and the black beans were a surprisingly fine substitute for the scrambled egg that it usually contains. We cooked a large batch of both beans and quinoa at the beginning of the week and I am able to microwave a portion while chopping carrot and 6 or 7 snap peas (and in the future I’ll do this ahead of time too), WHILE holding Sebastian on one hip.

If you’re like my sister and you don’t use the microwave, it will still take very little time to heat them up on the stove.

What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, try as I might, I continue to hate cooking and it is a constant effort for me to be motivated to do it. And I couldn’t believe how quick, easy, and delicious this was!

Also, my husband and I are trying to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and he has been trying to eat foods with a low Glycemic Index. This is an excellent meals for both weight loss strategies.

(For those interested in Weight Watchers Points Plus, 1.5 cups of fried rice is 15 PP while this is about 9-10 PP for almost 2 cups of food!)

This meal is a win, win, win, all around!



3 thoughts on “Quick and Healthy: An Alternative to Fried Rice

  1. I could do this! I like cooking, however do not always make time for it (esp lately!) I’m not sure if my hunger would be okay with just eating this, however would be a start toward healthy for us! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kimberly,

    The best thing to do to fill up around a healthy meal like this is to eat fruit – namely apples or sliced melon. I also have been keeping cut-up melon in the fridge at all times the past few weeks. Cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew.

    But, believe me, you can eat a huge bowl of this and it will satisfy your hunger! My husband and I can tell you from experience: he used to think that he had to have meat at a meal in order to feel satisfied and to build muscle when he works out – but now he regularly eats meatless meals with me and he usually gets full before I do.

    *My* problem is portions. I have a bad habit of eating huge portions so I KNOW I’m full and won’t get hungry for a while. This lunch is great because the beans and quinoa are filling and keep you satisfied for much longer than, say, bread. And the veggies take up a lot of room in your stomach, contributing to the full feeling.

    The trick is to know what *you* need to feel satisfied. I know that a couple of squares of chocolate or a small cookie is sometimes necessary to make me feel satisfied after a healthy meal like this. It’s better for me to know that and plan for it rather than snacking indiscriminately throughout the day.

    Let me know if you try it!

  3. P.S. Oh, I just realized I should point this out too – if this actually were a bowl of fried rice, it would NOT be that filling!

    The white rice normally used in restaurants is not filling at all and you feel hungry right after eating it (do to it’s very high glycemic index). That is why people always make jokes about being hungry after eating Chinese food. It is better to use brown rice if you make fried rice at home, but an even better option is quinoa.

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