Orange-Soy Shrimp with Red Quinoa

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So we’ve all heard of quinoa, right?  You know, the light, fluffy grain that’s high in protein and goes well with pretty much every single food group?  We are taking quinoa as you know it to the next level here. 

This is a perfect example of why it is so cool to have a mom who works at an organic food co-op; she’s always introducing me to awesome food products that I otherwise might have not discovered, like red quinoa.

I think there is a big difference between red quinoa and the whiteish/yellow kind.  They both have a similar protein profile, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids in the correct proportions (this is amazingly good for our bodies, btw!).  However, red quinoa is the most ancient grain, as it was originally a staple of the Incan diet.  The taste is much more earthy than any grain I have ever tried and it is a rich brick color (obviously) so eating it will be interesting for your eyes as well as your mouth.

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For this recipe, I made a tangy orange-soy flavored sauce with some shrimp, snap peas and creamy avocado peices and served it over some perfectly cooked red quinoa.

What will you need? (makes 2 servings)

1 cup quinoa, cooked in 1.5 cups water

12 -16 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

3/4 cup sugar snap peas

1 avocado

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbps olive oil

For the sauce:

1.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp corn starch (added at the end!)

1 tsp ground ginger

How do you make it?

Depending on what kind of shrimp you bought, wash it and prepare it appropriately.  My personal preference is to buy shrimp with the shells still on because I keep the shells, freeze them and then use them to make flavorful stocks and soups in the future. 

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Also, start cooking your quinoa by following the directions on the package.  Most will recommend 1.5 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa.  Cook until all of the water has evaporated and it is nice and fluffy.

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In a large skillet, heat your olive oil and start sauteeing the chopped garlic with a little kosher salt, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.  Add in your shrimp and pea pods and cook until the shrimp starts to get pink.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for your sauce except for the corn starch.  We will add that in later! 


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Pour the sauce into the skillet with your shrimp and pea pods and bring to a simmer, cooking the shrimp the remainder of the way through.

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Once the sauce is starting to reduce, add in the corn starch and stir quickly.  This will make it get nice and thick.

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When it looks like that ^, it is ready to eat.  First add some quinoa to a bowl…

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Then add your avocados…

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Finally the shrimp/pea pod mixture…

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I hope you like it and that red quinoa becomes a more regular component of your meals!

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  1. I love red quinoa and not just the flavor. I think the color is so gorgeous and makes you want to dig in. Question isn’t quinoa a seed not a grain?

    • Good point! I guess I have always just thought it was a grain and I never questioned my assumption. I did a little research and it looks like technically yes, it is a seed. BUT a ton of sources refer to it as a whole grain… so I am still confused haha.

  2. Alexa says:

    I switched to red quinoa after reading it has more fiber and maintains its texture better than white when cooked. I love the earthy, nutty flavor and the color is just much more visually appealing than white. Also quinoa is a seed, but it is a grain substitute that carries a lot more protein than your typical whole grain. Hope that helps!

    • Awesome, thanks for the clarification! You’re definitely right that the flavor is so much better. I don’t even think regular quinoa has that much flavor at all!


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