Some nights, dinner just needs to be easy. When there is too much to do and not enough time cooking an elaborate dinner (no matter how delicious it may be) usually falls to the bottom of my list. It becomes very easy in those instances to choose a less-than-healthy meal – a slice of pizza from down the street or bagel bites from the corner store. For me, stress brings on cravings for unhealthy (and, ultimately, unsatisfying) food.
The solution? A filling, healthy dinner easily thrown together with kitchen staples. I usually have quinoa, eggs, and some sort of green vegetable on hand. If you don’t, use what you have. This recipe can easily be recreated with another grain or pasta and whatever fresh (or frozen) veggies you can find in your refrigerator.
Perfect for a busy week night, this recipe saves time and lends itself to ultimate efficiency. While the quinoa is cooking, you can check things off your to-do list – unload the dishwasher, tidy up your room, or pour (and finish) a glass of wine. Once the quinoa is done, it’s less than 10 minutes before you can dig in – and then get back to the to-do list!
Fried Egg & Spinach Quinoa Bowl
Cook 1/3 cup dry quinoa according to package directions. Quinoa cooks perfectly in a rice cooker, saving you the trouble of keeping an eye on the stove. When the quinoa is finished, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup spinach. When the spinach begins to wilt, add quinoa, ½ garlic clove (grated) and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until spinach is cooked through and put aside in a bowl.
Spray the same pan with cooking spray and heat again over medium heat. To test the heat, sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan. When the water sizzles upon touching the pan, you’re ready to crack 1 egg into the pan to fry. Gently flip the egg over with a spatula when the egg whites are opaque (about 3 minutes). Continue to cook to your desired doneness. I like yolks runny, so I immediately turn off the heat and cook for about 15 seconds on the other side. Cook for up to 1 minute if you like the yolk firm.
Serve the egg on top of the quinoa spinach mixture with a sprinkle of pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Double the recipe for equally easy leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Yield: 1 servings. Per Serving: $1.87, 328 calories, 13g fat, 41g carbs, 15g protein.