Quinoa fried rice* with chocolate banana-avocado pudding**

*does not actually contain rice

**a dish best served while watching men’s synchronized diving and jumping around your kitchen pretending you’re a taekwondo champion

Nothing makes me want to eat healthy like watching the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, I eat healthy food most of the time, but there’s nothing quite like muscular, Speedo-clad men to make me reconsider that tempting bowl of Dijon-doused potato salad. No, I’m not blushing. Stop that! Look away.

Last week, Wendy (remember, our food-loving web editor) kindly brought the newsroom in a selection of veggies from her lovely garden. Since she knows I love kale, she brought me a large Ziplock bag, packed to the re-sealable brim with the hearty green. The bag was puffed up like a pillow, and it took every last ounce of my will power to not doze off at lunch, head resting on a sack of sprouts.

I was lacking any sort of dinner inspiration last night (I blame the distractions on TV), and so I did as one always does when one is unmotivated – I cooked with quinoa. This turned out to be quite a successful course of action, and I thank this recipe for providing the basis of my meal.

And, since stuffing my face while watching incredibly fit athletes excel isn’t enough for me, I decided to make dessert.

One of the fondest memories I have of my old roommate Brittany is her penchant for creating desserts that were often more nutritious than my meals. Britt was the queen of homemade sorbets, and our Ottawa kitchen was frequently abuzz with the sound of her blending any combination of bananas and frozen berries. The result was normally consumed on our futon as we watched a movie in the dark. It’s been seven months since I last saw Britt, and so this dessert is dedicated to her.

I first discovered the chocolate-avocado combination when on my hunt for Ottawa’s best cupcake. Oh yes, for those of you just tuning in, that was a thing. I tried nearly 50 different kinds of cupcakes, one of which was a parsnip cupcake with dark chocolate and avocado frosting by Holly and Jackie at L’Oven. Since trying that cupcake, my mind occasionally flashes back to the silky smooth consistency of that icing – the melt-on-my-tongue texture. Last night, at long last, it was time to recreate it.

I know that this could have been a sugar free dessert, but frankly, I’m just starting to like unsweetened apple sauce and natural peanut butter. I needed a bit of sweet. Sugar-free evangelists be damned, please give me this – just leave me and my 1/2 tsp sugar at peace.

This pudding carries two aftertastes – it’s initially banana, which then fades out like a bad 80’s pop song into a wonderful avocado flavour. Since there’s no real added liquid, the pudding is nice and thick, which is perfect for the 10-year-old trapped in my body that likes to ooze the dessert out of my teeth. Gross, I know. I promise I’ll never do it in public.

Recipe: Quinoa fried rice
Adapted from Eat Life Whole
– 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
– 1 cup vegetable broth
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 cup fresh kale, de-ribbed and chopped
– 1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1/3 cup edamame beans, frozen
– 1/3 cup red cabbage, chopped
– 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
– 1 green onion, chopped
– Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa first – add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let cook, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed. About 20-25 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are slightly translucent. Add raw kale and cook for another minute or so. Add crumbled bacon and frozen edamame beans.

Add the quinoa, soy sauce, pinch of kosher salt/pepper and red cabbage. Cook for a minute.

Add the egg (whole, raw), and break up with wooden spoon, being careful to completely fry it.

Once the egg is fried and everything is mixed, toss in cilantro and green onion. Serve immediately.

Makes two servings.

Recipe: Chocolate banana-avocado pudding
Adapted from Edible Perspective
– 1 avocado, ripe (but not mushy)
– 1 banana, ripe
– 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)

Use an immersion blender to mix the avocado and banana until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl, as necessary.

Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Blend again until smooth.

Refrigerate for a bit and then eat and enjoy!

Makes two small servings, or 1 1/4 sized Hilary servings.

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3 thoughts on “Quinoa fried rice* with chocolate banana-avocado pudding**

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