P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."




Quinoa Fried Rice

PF Chang's Copycat Recipe

3 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups precooked vegetable of choice (I used spinach, carrots and mushrooms; other options include broccoli, kale or peas)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 eggs, beaten
Optional: 1 extra egg for topping

Make sure you have cooked quinoa on hand that has already cooled (leftover quinoa works great). Here’s a how-to on cooking quinoa. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add in garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Fold in cooked quinoa and chopped vegetables. Pour in soy sauce and sesame oil and stir to combine. With a spatula, push the quinoa to the outer edges of the pan, creating a hole in the center.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in the hole. Add eggs and scramble in the center of the pan. Once the eggs have cooked, mix with the rest of the quinoa and vegetables until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot. Optional topping: cook an egg sunny side up and place on top before serving.

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