Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe

Crispy Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice has got your takeout cravings covered, but healthier! | themillennialmenu.com

If I’m going to take a few unplanned months away from sharing recipes, I better have a great one to kick off coming back to blogging, and this recipe for Quinoa Fried Rice is it. Who doesn’t love fried rice? It’s salty and buttery all at once, and always satisfies that takeout craving. Sometimes, though, I want to eat healthier (well, slightly healthier) or have a more filling meal, and substituting quinoa for the rice in this recipe gets the job done.

In terms of making this recipe more filling for work lunches, I always add crispy fried chicken, tossed in a bit of extra sesame oil at the end of cooking, to get me through an afternoon of teaching. You can easily do this as vegetarian dish without the chicken, add an extra scrambled egg or two, or add tofu. Or, simply enjoy as is.

One other thing I love about this meal is that it’s a great recipe to make during the same week you try out my Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce, since you’ve already got over half of what you need to make those once you’ve grocery shopped for this recipe! The flavors are definitely distinctly different, still, so it’s a great way to save money on groceries and using up your ingredients while still varying up what you eat.

Quinoa seems to really multiply and I always end up with a mountain of it - which is exactly what you want when you’re adding awesome flavors like sautéed onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, fresh chopped scallions, and more. This is a great recipe to cook for a crowd and has a relatively inexpensive base in the quinoa. Cheap, tasty, health(ier)…add this to your calendar for dinner next week!



Quinoa Fried Rice

Makes 4-6 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Soy sauce: Beef & Broccoli // Chicken, carrots, soy sauce, and quinoa: Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: Instant Pot: High, 1 minutes NPR 5 minutes plus 15 minutes "frying" the quinoa // Stove top: 30 minutes
Total Time: Depending on cooking method, 30-45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa

  • 4 tbsp. butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • salt & pepper, to taste

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce

  • 4 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil + 2 more if making crispy chicken strips

  • Optional: 2 chicken breast, sliced into thin strips with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil




Dietary Substitutions:
Vegetarian Friendly: Leave out chicken or add tofu.
Dairy-free Friendly
Gluten Free As long as you confirm all of your ingredients are gluten free, this recipe is gluten-free friendly. Double check your soy sauce.
Vegan: Use additional oil as needed rather than butter, and leave out the eggs.

Directions

MAKE THE QUINOA & CHICKEN
1. To make the quinoa:

On the stovetop: turn one burner on high. Add 2 cups of water to the sauce pan. Add in 1 cup dry quinoa. Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and let the quinoa sit for 15 minutes. Read more about how to cook quinoa 

In the Instant Pot: Add 1 cup dry quinoa and 2 cups water to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Yep, 1 minute. NPR for 10 minutes, then QPR. Read about why you need an Instant Pot in general here. While that's happening...


2. Slice your 2 chicken breasts into thin strips. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sliced chicken breast and let cook until browned. Use a spatula to ensure all sides are browned. Cooking should take 5-10 minutes.
3. When the chicken is almost done, add 2 tablespoons sesame oil to the pan and stir to coat to add extra flavor to the strips.

PREP THE MIX-INs
4.
Dice 1 medium onion, 2 medium carrots, and 4 cloves minced garlic and add them to a large frying pan with olive oil over medium heat.
5. Sautè the veggies until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
6. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and stir (yes, I said 4. Don’t ask, just do it)
7. Add some water (less than 1/4 cup) to a microwave-safe bowl, add the 1/2 cup frozen peas and microwave on 30 seconds to soften them. Then, add the peas to the frying pan.

FRY IT!
6. Once the quinoa is ready, add the cooked quinoa to the pan with all the veggies and stir.
7. Add 4 tablespoons soy sauce and 4 tablespoons sesame oil to the pan and stir. These amounts are flexible and dependent on personal preferences! Add more or less if you like.
8. Add your cooked chicken strips to the pan. Continue to stir, adding more butter, sesame oil, or soy sauce as desired.
9. Meanwhile, quickly scramble two eggs in separate pan. I’ve found scrambling it all together makes the quinoa weird and congealed. Definitely scramble your eggs separately. Add these to the quinoa pan and mix to incorporate.
9. Add salt & pepper and chopped scallions to taste.

Yum.

quinoa-fried-rice-close-up

Storing & Extra Ingredients

STORING - Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

LUNCH TOMORROW - I’ve done this for meal prep for lunches for the week and it lasts very well! Be sure to eat within 5 days if you do add chicken.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - If you have extra carrots, chicken, soy sauce, and quinoa, you’re halfway to my Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce! Work on that bottle of soy sauce with my Beef & Broccoli recipe. Use up the rest of that bag of frozen peas in my favorite comfort meal: Chicken Pot Pie.


Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce Recipe

Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce are a light and delicious meal to start the new year! | themillennialmenu.com

After all of my indulgent holiday meals (no regrets), I'm ready for something light and tasty. This recipe for Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce is just what I needed this week to ease me into 2017. These wraps are packed with protein (thanks to chicken and quinoa!) and flavor (hello, homemade peanut sauce!) so they'll fill you up while keeping your taste buds happy. 

I love how the chicken strips crisp up in the skillet as the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil infuse into the chicken. Then it's another burst of flavor from the homemade peanut sauce. The secret ingredient? Water! I was doubtful about this, and was tempted to add more soy sauce or peanut butter when things just didn't taste right. But water really is the trick. It thins out the sauce, keeping it from getting too gloopy, without adding anymore salt or flavor to an already-intense array of flavors. We dipped everything in our leftover peanut sauce - dumplings, spring rolls, even just cut up veggies as a snack. I recommend making a double batch! Finally, you simply top the lettuce (your wrappers!) with quinoa, chicken, grated carrots, peanuts, and cilantro and drizzle the peanut sauce on top. Warning: dinner can get a little messy. Just go with it!



Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Peanut Sauce

Makes 2 servings
Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Chicken: Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken // Quinoa: Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers // Peanut sauce: over soba noodles or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or dumplings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chicken & marinade:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

For the wraps:

  • 4 leaves bibb/Boston/butter lettuce {See grocery guide for more info}
  • 2 carrots, peeled & grated 
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup dry)
  • Cilantro, for garnish Optional

For the peanut sauce:* Note, this recipe is flexible. Add more or less of any of the ingredients to make a sauce to your liking.

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice Optional
  • Water, as needed




Dietary Substitutions:
Gluten Free: Make sure to use gluten free soy sauce.
Vegetarian: Skip the chicken, sub tofu.
Vegan-Friendly: See vegetarian solution. Dairy-Free Friendly

Directions:

Optional: If you want to marinate your chicken beforehand (for more flavor, but totally optional), start with Step 5 up to 24 hours in advance.

BEFORE YOU START: PREP THE VEGGIES
1. Tear 4 lettuce leaves off the head of bibb lettuce to use as your wrappers.
2. Grate your 2 carrots. I use a cheese grater for this! 
3. Crush 1/2 cup peanuts. I usually put them in a plastic bag and hit them with something hard (like an olive oil bottle or a metal spoon).

MARINATE & COOK THE CHICKEN, COOK QUINOA
4. To make the quinoa: turn one burner on high. Add 2/3 cup of water to the sauce pan. Add in 1/3 c. dry quinoa. Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and let the quinoa sit for 15 minutes. Read more about how to cook quinoa *PRODUCT PLUG: Quinoa takes 1 minute to cook in the Instant Pot, read about why you need one here While that's happening...
5. Slice your two chicken breasts into thin strips. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic,  and 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger to a bowl and toss the raw chicken strips in the marinade. Season with salt & pepper and stir. Let sit, refrigerated, for up to 24 hours. If you don't have time to marinate it, that's okay. Just move on to step 2.
6. Preheat a pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. 
7. Once the oil has heated, add the chicken strips to the pan. The pan should be hot enough that the strips sizzle when they are added to the pan (so they can get crispy!). Stir the strips around so that they are evenly cooked. After the first minute or so, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan and stir so the chicken is coated.
8. Continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, making sure the strips brown and get crispy as you cook - pressing down on the strips with a spatula might help you get the crisp on them. When it's done, the chicken should no longer be pink or translucent, but white and opaque. 

MAKE THE SAUCE
9. To make the peanut sauce, add 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice to a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until everything is dissolved together. You'll likely need to add water to thin the sauce out and dilute the strong flavors a bit. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, tasting as you go. Stop when it tastes the way you want it to! Note: If you have a blender, you can just add this all to the blender, it will be easier to just pulse everything together.

ASSEMBLE THE WRAPS
10.
Since you're making two servings, lay out two lettuce leaves on top of each other on one side of the plate and two on the other. These will be your outer wrappers. Spoon half of the quinoa onto one wrap and one half of the quinoa onto the other. Divide your grated carrot and peanuts between the wraps. Add the chicken on top, drizzle with peanut sauce, and garnish with cilantro. 

Yum.


Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - One of the best things about this recipe is it's easy to pack for lunch and still tastes delicious regardless of whether you heat it up or not. Make sure to store the peanut sauce on the side and add it when you're ready to eat. If you'd like to heat it up, bring the lettuce separate from the chicken and quinoa mixture.

STORING - Store the lettuce and peanut sauce separately in the fridge, and make your wraps and add the sauce right before you enjoy. With the cooked chicken, you should enjoy within 3-4 days.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Make a salad with extra lettuce to bring for lunch or as a side dish to another dinner this week. Use extra carrots as a snack with hummus or ranch dip. Toss extra peanut sauce with soba noodles for a delicious noodle dish with veggies. And use up the rest of the cilantro in my Five Minute Fish Tacos or Shortcut Shakshuka.


Five Minute Fish Taco Bowls Recipe

Five Minute Fish Taco Bowls. My go-to quickest dinner I know, completed by Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa! | themillennialmenu.com

FIVE minutes? Maybe five and a half. Minus the quinoa prep (which you can be doing as part of your weekly meal prep or even just the day before), assembling this bowl really only requires 5-7 minutes of your time. I'm all about fast dinners, but this Five Minute Fish Taco Bowl recipe is definitely the fastest dinner I've got. I'll admit, you have to be #efficient in the kitchen, but this is my go-to dinner when I know I'm going to come home hangry and need to eat ASAP. 

This recipe involves dumping your bowl ingredients into - you guessed it - a bowl, heating them up (optional), and cooking a piece of fish in the simplest way possible - in a pan on the stovetop. If you do things in the right order (#efficiency), you literally can be sitting down to dinner in under 10 minutes. 5 if you're fast.

This recipe is completed by Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa, one of my 10 Trader Joes Favorites for Millennials, which you can get access to by subscribing to get blog posts delivered straight to your inbox! I am obsessed with this corn salsa - I buy 6 jars at a time (currently, there aren't any Trader Joe's near me, so there is a reason for the madness). It's tangy and sweet thanks to the vinegar and corn, with a little bit of heat (I hate spicy food, but this is perfection). I just love that it adds flavor sophistication with zero effort - a true millennial menu item.

If you're into meal planning, this is the perfect dish to make during the same week you're making my Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers. I think the peppers and fish tacos are a great pair of posts to start off the blog with because they're different enough that you feel your dinners are creative, but convenient enough that you can use similar ingredients to avoid wasting food and maximize your grocery shopping!



Five Minute Fish Taco Bowls Recipe

Makes 1 fish taco bowl
Other recipes with these ingredients: Corn salsa: Nachos, breakfast burritos, topping for grilled chicken // Black beans, quinoa & cilantro: Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers // Quinoa: add to salad for lunch, Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
I'll be doing Millennial Menu posts of similar recipes to those linked here very soon, but for now, here are some ideas of how to use up ingredients!

Ingredients

  • Splash of oil (olive or canola works)
  • 1 filet of white fish (I like tilapia - if you'd like more guidance on what to buy, check out the Grocery Guide)
  • Salt + pepper
  • 2 wedges of lime
  • 1/3 cup dry quinoa (Substitute: farro, rice, etc.)
  • 1/2 can black beans (Substitute: pinto beans)
  • 2-3 scoops of Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa
  • 1/2 avocado Optional

GARNISH

  • Shredded Mexican cheese Optional
  • Sour cream Optional
  • Cilantro Optional
  • + You can add any other toppings you'd like - tomatoes, onions, etc. But the corn salsa makes it so that you can keep the ingredient list short and simple and your meal will still pack a ton of flavor.




Dietary Substitutions
Dairy Free: Don't add sour cream & cheese at the end.
Vegetarian: Make extra quinoa for protein, or add tofu.
Vegan: Dairy Free + Vegetarian
Already Gluten Free

Directions

GET YOUR GAME FACE ON
1. Turn a burner on medium heat and place a frying pan on it to heat up. 
2. Note: making the quinoa now slows down your Five Minute Fish Tacos, but if you make quinoa the night before or as part of your weekly meal prep or as leftovers from another meal, like my Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers, it really is super quick). To make the quinoa: turn one burner on high. Add 2/3 cup of water to the sauce pan. Add in 1/3 c. dry quinoa. Read more about how to cook quinoa [Important Ratio: 1:3 dry quinoa:cooked quinoa, 1:2 quinoa:water]. Now you have to wait for the quinoa to boil, at which point you'll turn down the heat and let it sit and cook for 15 minutes, but...while you're waiting for the quinoa to boil...
3. Add a splash of oil to the frying pan (to coat the bottom)

COOK YOUR FISH
4.  Place your raw fish filet into the oiled pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side. Add a squeeze of lime if you'd like. Let cook 2-3 minutes...while that's happening...
5. Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the quinoa sit and cook for 15 minutes. 
6. Next, cut your avocado - learn the pro method. I use half an avocado per bowl, but you can use a full if you'd like.
7. Back to the fish. Flip the filet over to the other side, sprinkle salt and pepper on this side. It should need another 2-3 minutes to cook, depending on thickness. When it's done, it should be completely opaque/white on the inside, with no translucent/blue hue. (If you prefer temperature measures, fish should be cooked to 145°F). 
8. If you're using lime, squeeze a fresh wedge over your cooked piece of fish to really pump up the flavor.

ASSEMBLE THE BOWL + EAT
9. Now that your fish is done, you just have to dump layer everything into your bowl. I like to start with all of the cooked quinoa, then add 1/2 can beans, 2-3 scoops of corn salsa (to taste), half the avocado that you already sliced up, and your cooked fish, then top with cilantro, a handful of cheese, and a scoop of sour cream. You can't mess up this part - as long as you cook your fish, you can put it in a bowl with just about anything in any proportions that you want.

A Note About Quinoa: I know the quinoa slows down the recipe. Quinoa is a great make-ahead grain to have on hand for the week, so you can definitely have it prepped ahead of time for a true 5 minute weeknight dinner. Plus, if you subscribe to the blog, you'll know the exact moment when I post my "Secret to 1 Minute Quinoa Trick" which I'm planning to post about in the next few weeks - and then your dinner really will take only 5 minutes. 

Yum.


Lunch tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - Anything in bowl form travels super well for lunch. Normally I just pack everything together, including a scoop of sour cream on the side of the bowl, and eat the entire thing cold. If you'd like, you can keep the warm ingredients in one bowl (either everything or just the fish, your preference), heat that up, and add cold ingredients, like sour cream, from a separate container afterwards. 

STORING - Leftovers should be enjoyed within the next day for best taste with fish, but will safely last 3-4 days in the fridge.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - This recipe is meal planning perfection to have all the right ingredients to make a breakfast scramble or my Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers. Some other ideas: you'll have half an avocado leftover, but that might be the easiest ingredient to use up - whip it into a quick guac as a snack, mix your egg salad with avocado instead of mayo...the possibilities are endless. You'll also have half a can of black beans left. These freeze wonderfully and can go into so many recipes. Use a FoodSaver or place in a ziplock bag, label and date, and freeze! The shredded cheese and sour cream will last for weeks in the fridge and are great ingredients for healthy multigrain nachos as a snack. The best way to store cilantro is in a drinking glass with a bit of water in it, and place it in the fridge with a plastic bag over the top. 

Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Make a batch of Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers filled with turkey and quinoa to have on hand for a quick, easy weeknight meal. | themillennialmenu.com

This Freezer-Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe is one of my most freezer friendly recipes, bursting with flavor as well as three(!) different protein sources: ground turkey, quinoa, and black beans. Stuffed peppers remind me of my grandma, who makes an amazing traditional version with rice and hamburger meat (covered in a sauce with ketchup and brown sugar) but I love this re-vamped version that is a complete and balanced meal.

It's really important to me (and my budget) that I eat a homecooked meal every night. But, I don't always have time to cook something from scratch. These peppers make eating a homecooked and delicious meal possible because they freeze so well. They're also tasty, travel well for lunch, easily adaptable for almost any dietary restrictions, and work with flexible ingredients. I can't think of a better Millennial Menu item! At the end of this post, you can read more about how to freeze these so you'll always have a few on hand for dinner during a busy week. 

I always have a few of these on hand in my freezer ready for busy weeks when I won't have time to cook but still want to eat a healthy, delicious, and filling dinner. What is your go-to dinner on a busy night?



Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Makes 4-5 large peppers
Other recipes with these ingredients: Black beans & cilantro: Fish tacos // Ground turkey & Quinoa: Quinoa Stuffed Baked Tomatoes // Quinoa: add to salad for lunch, Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
I'll be doing Millennial Menu posts of similar recipes to those linked here very soon, but for now, here are some ideas of how to use up ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 large bell peppers

FOR THE FILLING

  • 1/3 cup quinoa Subtsitute: farro, rice, etc.
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey Substitute: ground chicken, ground beef
  • 1/2 packet of fajita/taco seasoning  
  • 1 can diced tomatoes -  Optional canned diced tomatoes work, I've also used canned tomato sauce before and that is also tasty. You could use fresh tomatoes, but I prefer the canned because the added juice makes the filling more flavorful._
  • 1 small can corn -  Optional You could use fresh corn as well, but that raises the cost.
  • 1/2 can black beans  Optional
  • Salt and pepper

ADDED AFTER COOKING

  • Shredded Mexican cheese Optional
  • Sour cream Optional
  • Cilantro Very Optional




Dietary Substitutions
Dairy Free: Don't add sour cream & cheese at the end.
Vegetarian: Leave out the turkey and just use quinoa and veggies in your filling.
Vegan: Dairy Free + Vegetarian
Already Gluten Free


Directions

GET YOUR GAME FACE ON
1.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. This is always the first thing you should do if you're cooking with the oven! 
2. Assemble all your ingredients and the necessary kitchen tools:

  • Knives
  • Cutting board
  • A small sauce pan to cook the quinoa in
  • A frying pan to cook the ground turkey in
  • Spatula to cook the ground turkey with
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon to scoop the filling into the peppers
  • Oven-safe pan for the peppers (pie plates work great or 8x8 pans that have edges the peppers can lean up against)

PREP THE PANS YOU'LL USE & THE PEPPERS
3. Turn one burner on high. Add 2/3 cup of water to the sauce pan. Add in 1/3 c. dry quinoa. [Important Ratio: 1:3 dry quinoa:cooked quinoa, 1:2 quinoa:water]Read more about how to cook quinoa. Now you have to wait for the quinoa to boil, at which point you'll turn down the heat and let it sit and cook for 15 minutes, but...while you're waiting for the quinoa to boil...
4. Turn on another burner on medium and place the frying pan on it. Let the frying pan heat up on the stove for a minute. While this is heating up...
5. You want to core your bell peppers with a knife so that they're hollow and you can fill them with your turkey and quinoa filling. It's nice to get this out of the way so you're not overwhelmed trying to do this while your raw meat is cooking. Need help? Watch Martha Stewart core a pepper.

COOK THE QUINOA & TURKEY
6. Add a splash of canola oil to the frying pan that was heating up, enough to lightly coat the entire bottom of the pan. Wait 30 seconds or so for the oil to het up a bit, and add your 1 pound of ground turkey to the pan. Move it around with a spoon or spatula - this is called browning. Sprinkle the 1/2 packet of taco seasoning as it cooks, continuing to move the turkey around and mix in the seasoning with the spatula. It should take about 5-8 minutes for the turkey to cook. When it's done, it should be entirely brownish-grey, with no pink.
7. Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the quinoa sit and cook for 15 minutes. 

MIX IT ALL TOGETHER
8. Mix together the cooked turkey and cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl.
9. Add 1 can of corn, 1/2 can of beans, and 1 can of tomatoes to the bowl. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
10. Smell it! Does it smell like you want more taco spice? Add it now if you do!
11. Add in salt and pepper, to taste.

STUFF THE PEPPERS
12. Spoon the filling into the peppers, filling each pepper to the top.
13. Place on a pan to cook in the oven. A pie plate or 8x8 pan with edges works to keep the peppers upright.

COOK
14. Cook for approximately 30 minutes on 350°F. Since your meat isn't raw, you can cook for as long or short as you want. Just cook until the peppers are as soft as you want them to be in order to eat them. You can poke them with your finger to see how soft they are.

EAT
15. Take your peppers out of the oven when the pepper is soft enough to eat (about 30 minutes on 350°F).
16. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Yum.


Lunch tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - Pack these in a Tupperware for lunch with the sour cream on the side. Cut in half to make microwaving quicker.

STORING - The peppers will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. But, they're practically MEANT for freezing! Especially because the recipe makes 4 - you can eat one, bring one for lunch the next day, and still have TWO dinners for later always ready to go in the freezer. Once they come out of the oven, I let them cool a bit before popping them in the freezer (on the dish you cooked them in is fine). Let them freeze overnight before storing for the long term. I didn't take the time to let them freezer overnight the first few times I made these (I just plopped them in a bag still hot), but it's worth it. Allowing them to harden overnight means they'll be more likely to retain their shape and flavor, and they won't leak juices all over the bag you're going to store them in. The next day, you're ready to bag the peppers to store them in your freezer for the long term. If you're smart, you've read Why Every Millennial Needs a FoodSaver and can use your Food Saver to vacuum seal the peppers for storing in the freezer. If not, add it to your Christmas list and store in freezer Ziplock bags. It's always good to label and date your freezer food. The peppers will last indefinitely at 0°F in the freezer, but for best taste and flavor, eat them within 3-4 months.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - You'll have half a can of black beans left. These freeze wonderfully and can go into so many recipes. Use a FoodSaver or place in a ziplock bag, label and date, and freeze! You can also use them in a fish taco bowl, taco soup, or added to a salad for lunch or breakfast scramble with eggs. The shredded cheese and sour cream will last for weeks in the fridge and are great ingredients for healthy multigrain nachos as a snack. The best way to store cilantro is in a drinking glass with a bit of water in it, and place it in the fridge with a plastic bag over the top. You can use it for other Mexican-inspired dishes, like in a fish taco or breakfast burrito.


This recipe was inspired by and adapted from Chef Savvy's Healthy Mexican Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.