Saturday, February 6, 2010

Breakfast Quinoa

As Mark Bittman has pointed out, whole grains for breakfast doesn’t just mean oatmeal.  One of my favorites is two parts steel cut oatmeal to one part bulgur wheat, sweetened with maple syrup and topped with dried fruit and nuts.  But to try new whole grains for breakfast, I tried making breakfast quinoa. Quinoa is a whole grain that’s not technically a grain – it’s a seed, and better yet, one of the few vegetable sources of complete protein with lots of other vitamins to boot. So if you’re vegetarian, quinoa’s your friend.  While it’s typically used in savory application, this past week I found it to be delicious on the sweet side as well. It’s tastes like a filling hot breakfast cereal, but has as much protein as an egg (or more, especially with almonds or other nuts as in this recipe).

  • 2 cups dried quinoa
  • Salt
  • Honey (about 1/3 of a cup, but I don’t actually measure)
  • 1/3 cup nuts (Almonds work well)
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit (chopped apricots and/or cranberries)

Put quinoa in 4 quart pot and cover with water by about two inches. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes, until quinoa seeds have opened up and are tender. If necessary, more water can be added.  Drain out any excess water using fine mesh strainer.  Stir in honey, and top with fruit and nuts. This can be made ahead, portioned into Gladware-like containers, and reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast. It lasts about a week in the refrigerator. Makes 4-5 servings.