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Easy Oriental Pork & Quinoa

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Craving a Chinese Take Out inspired dish without a ton of MSG, preservatives, fat, and added sugars? Ally may have found the perfect dish for you!

What do you do when the freezer is running low and the pantry needs a restocking? You go with what you have! This month has been incredibly busy with the release of Great American Grilling! Shopping has been one of the things we've put off. That left my wife Ally with a pound and a half of lean ground pork and a box of quick Quinoa.

When I left the house I knew that somehow those two things would come together. Later that afternoon my phone rang and Ally informed me that we were having Chinese for dinner. When I hung up I wondered if I supposed to stop and pick up Chinese take-out.

I called back and confessed that I missed something in the conversation because I was listening to NASCAR and talking on the phone. I was informed that we were still having ground pork and Quinoa. Now I was really confused. What happened to Chinese food?


Pork - Be Inspired!

Ally had found a fantastic Pork Quinoa Fried Rice recipe on the website for the National Pork Board - Pork Be inspired! I actually have some history with some of the PR people with the National Pork Board.

While I was working on my book Checkered Flag Cooking my friend Anne Rehnstrom, at the Pork Board, allowed me the honor of helping serve up hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork sandwiches to teams and crew members in the garage areas of several tracks on race weekend.

Their website - www.porkbeinspired.com - includes much more than just recipes for pork chops and ribs. The site has countless recipes for dishes for just about every meal and occasion. There's something for everyone. That's how Ally found her inspiration for this flavor packed recipe.

She actually typed in a search for "ground pork and quinoa" and up popped an inspireing pork dish!


Ally's Twist on the Original Dish!

All did a few things differently than the original called for. For one, she skipped the asparagus spears and increased the amount of peas and carrots. That was because we didn't have any asparagus but we did have some frozen peas and carrots.

Also, in addition to the low sodium soy sauce she added a few additional spices. Going with the low sodium theme she added in dashes of ground ginger powder and Oriental Five Spice Seasoning. Thankfully we also had some green onions in the fridge veggie drawer.

Here's Ally's version of the dish with the originnal recipe from the National Pork Board below.


Ally's Easy Oriental Pork & Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups prepared quinoa, (prepare as per packaging
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oriental Five Spice seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup egg substitue
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Additional green onions chopped for garnish

Directions
You'll probably want to start the quinoa first if you don't have any of the quick cook variety. Follow the directions on the package.

Brown the lean ground pork and pat off, or drain, any grease. I can tell you, there's not much to worry about with lean ground pork. Season the ground pork with the Oriental Five Spice, ginger, and pepper. Add in the quinoa and keep hot.

Start your vegetables while the ground pork is cooking. In a skillet with oil lightly saute the peas and carrots, push to the side and start scrambling the egg subsitute. Or you can use a small skillet for the egg substitute. Combine the peas and carrots with the eggs - broken up - and stir in the chopped green onions saving some for the garnish. Stir in the low sodium soy sauce and sprinkle with additional seasonings if desired.

Combine everything, mix well to heat evenly, serve up hot!

Nutritional Info: Serving Size 6/249 g. Calories 425 Calories from Fat 83;% Daily Value* Total Fat 9.2g 14%; Saturated Fat 2.0g 10%, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 83mg 28%, Sodium 436mg 18%, Potassium 938mg 27%, Total Carbohydrates 42.5g 14%, Dietary Fiber 5.7g 23% Sugars 2.2g, Protein 42.1g, Vitamin A 81%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 6%, Iron 28% - Nutrition Grade A - * Based on a 2000 calorie diet by www.caloriecount.com


Original Recipe From National Pork Board.

Ingredients

  • 1 POUND LEAN GROUND PORK
  • 2 EGGS
  • SALT AND PEPPER , TO TASTE
  • 2 TEASPOONS CORN OIL, OR SESAME OIL
  • 1 CUP FROZEN PEAS AND CARROTS
  • 10 ASPARAGUS SPEARS, TRIMMED AND CUT INTO 1/2 INCH PIECES
  • 4 GREEN ONIONS, CHOPPED
  • 2 CUPS PREPARED QUINOA, (PREPARED ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS ON PACKAGE)
  • 3 TABLESPOONS SOY SAUCE, LOW-SODIUM
  • SCALLIONS , CHOPPED, FOR GARNISH

Directions
Whisk eggs in small bowl, set aside.
Season ground pork with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Brown pork, stirring and breaking it up into bite-sized pieces, until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add the frozen vegetables, asparagus, and green onions. Stir-fry until tender, about 2 minutes.
Push vegetables to the side of the skillet then add the eggs and the remaining teaspoon of oil to the middle of the pan. Scramble eggs.
Add the ground pork, quinoa, and soy sauce. Toss well to combine.
Serves 4 Recipe courtesy of Carissa Bealert, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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