meatless monday: cinnamon quinoa cereal
I rarely post breakfast recipes simply because I so very rarely change my routine. Steel-cut oats with brown sugar, yogurt and muesli, handful of nuts with some dried fruits. When it comes to breakfast, I don’t really flex the creative muscles often. And then I saw Heidi’s recipe and realized I could kill two birds with one stone: give quinoa another chance and try a new breakfast food. What’s not to love about that.
Quinoa (keen-wa) is one of those foods that I’ve never been able to love no matter how hard I try. I want to like it, I know I should, but somehow every time I’ve had it, I’ve thought “what’s the big deal?”. Where did it all go wrong for quinoa and me? I think I’ve been guilty of doing a half-hearted job of rinsing the grains and under-seasoning. After making this recipe, I feel my quinoa-hating days are finally over. Now, to work on Mr. KC who still seems less than convinced.
Tips for prepping quinoa. Rinsing quinoa is important as it has a natural coating of saponins (said to be a natural insect-repellent) rendering its taste bitter. Rinsing is slightly complicated as I only have the tiniest of mesh strainers. So what I do is throw the quinoa in a medium-sized bowl, add warm water and give it a good swirl. I then gently pour the water out, using the small strainer to catch any rogue quinoa grains. If you have a large enough mesh strainer to hold all your grains, just run some warm water over them for a few minutes and you’re good to go. After a few good baths, I lay the grains out on a baking sheet to toast/dry for about 10 minutes on 300°F. I’m not convinced the toasting did much, so you can probably skip that step.
So, whether you’re on Team Quinoa or not, give this recipe a whirl. There are tons of variations you can try from the fruit, to the nuts to the milk (soy, almond, even coconut–go wild!) and with each one you know you’ll be getting one heck of a start to your day.
cinnamon quinoa cereal
makes 4 servings
adapted from 101 cookbooks
- 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup rinsed quinoa (red quinoa used here)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1/3 cup roasted almonds
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 4 teaspoons agave nectar or brown sugar
- dash of olive oil
- Combine milk, water, cinnamon stick and quinoa in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, give your sliced almonds a light coating of olive oil and sprinkle on nutmeg. Cook at 400°F or toast in your toaster oven until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
- Turn off heat from the quinoa; let stand covered 5 minutes.
- Stir in blueberries; transfer to four bowls and top with almonds.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar or brown sugar over each serving.