Fried Rice Style Roasted Vegetable Quinoa


When we shuffled onto the train in Portland last week, my kids situated themselves in the plus seats by the windows. The train soon jerked to a start and they watched as the Maine landscape — serene blue bodies of water and not-yet-awake trees — flew by. We passed through New Hampshire and then parts of Massachusetts before arriving in Boston, our destination for a school break adventure.

When planning for this break, I considered so many different destinations — from Floridian beaches to the nation’s capital. But it was Boston, close enough to get there via ground transportation in a few hours, that called to me.

While we’ve been there before a few times, there always seems to be more we can do there. And the getting there — taking a bus and then a train — was part of the adventure. New experiences are, right?

I love traveling with my kids. There’s something freeing about getting away from home to experience new things and places. It opens our eyes to the greater world and gives us valuable experiences that recharge and refuel us.

On this trip, we tried some new things including taking full advantage of the T, Boston’s subway system. Though I’ve used subways in most cities I’ve visited, this was the first time I really embraced it in Boston. And you know what? I liked it. And better yet, my kids loved it. Plus, it helped us to get to more parts of the city and do so much.

We also visited the Sky Walk at the Prudential Center, which not only has incredible views of the city but also has a wonderful exhibit on the history of immigration right now. If you happen to be in Boston soon, I highly recommend checking it out.


But after days of eating out, I love to come home to my kitchen where I can create all sorts of tasty dishes for dinner. Like this one — Fried Rice Style Roasted Vegetable Quinoa — which is a satisfying take on a takeout favorite.

This recipe trades rice for nutritious quinoa, which is a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium and more. Ready in about 25 minutes, it cooks as quickly as rice too (and can be stored and reheated with ease!).


Vegetables — cabbage, parsnips, carrots and onions — are roasted together with a bit of olive oil and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Once caramelized, the veggies lend a sweet meatiness to this vegetarian dish.

roasted veggies for quinoa

And then it’s finished off like an egg-free fried rice. The quinoa and veggies are toasted in oil together and then mixed with sesame oil and soy sauce. The result is a robust dish that serves four as a side dish, or two as a hearty main dish.


Fried Rice Style Roasted Vegetable Quinoa
Serves: serves 4
  • 2 cups (heaping) thinly sliced cabbage (in strips)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp soy sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cabbage, parsnips, carrots and onions on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Stir. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Remove from the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the quinoa and roasted veggies and toss together. Toss with sesame oil and soy sauce (add a little at a time, tasting as you go and stopping when you reach the desired flavor). Cook for 2-3 minutes, until well combined throughout.
  4. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy.


Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at