Last summer Ona did a post on quinoa. She used words like “crunchy” and “nutty” and “beige” — all words that made you want to run out and make some quinoa for dinner. It is a blank slate and is ridiculously good for you, so why not make it for dinner?
Because it is really good for breakfast!
Today is the last day of Passover. I’ll spare you the details of holiday and just refer you to this site where you can read all you want. (If you can’t tell, I get a little cranky towards the end of Passover.) In short, you can’t eat anything that is leavened or kind of similar to leavened — no bread, grains, beans, or rice for a week. There are a number of recipes out there for Passover replacements for all of your favorite leavened treats but, in short, they’re not good. Bread without leavening means it is just so dense that it stands up by itself. I find it to be much easier to just eliminate those things from your diet for a week rather than trying to replace them. That’s just fine when it comes to lunch and dinner; meat and vegetables are great and can be prepared ahead of time. But breakfast… that’s a little more tricky. There are Passover cereals, but you could just save yourself the trouble and cut Cheerio shapes out of a cardboard box and pour some milk over it. Sure, eggs are a great option, but who has time to scramble some eggs before work every morning? I sure don’t. Then a friend introduced me to quinoa as a breakfast dish.
Quinoa is the loophole in the Passover restrictions. Although it resembles a grain, it is a seed that breaks open not a grain that plumps when you cook it (resembling leavening, remember?).
My friend posted this simple recipe in her Facebook status one day last week and I decided to give it a try. I’ve made it twice, two different ways, and it was delicious both times. I made enough of it to feed both my husband and me for five out of the eight days of Passover. Passover or not, this is my new go-to breakfast. Delicious and nutritious. It is everything that Wheaties aspire to be.
Quinoa: The Breakfast
To make the quinoa, add 1 part dried quinoa to 2 parts water (so 1/2 quinoa to 1 cup water). Bring to a boil and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. You now have 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
For the breakfast cereal:
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup milk (add more or less depending on your preference)
Put the quinoa in a pot over low heat. Add the milk. Stir until it starts to get thick. Then add whatever you want. I made this two different ways.
The first time I added a little maple syrup to the quinoa and milk, and stirred in some raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. It was good this way, but I thought the quinoa needed a little more flavor while it cooked.
Time #2 was much better. While the quinoa cooked in the water, I added just a little vanilla (maybe a teaspoon) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Once it was done, I mixed it with the milk and some diced strawberries and sliced almonds. The vanilla and strawberries made it almost taste like strawberry shortcake. It was really good.
As I said, I made a lot of it and I kept it in the fridge. It was delicious served cold which also makes it an incredibly quick breakfast — and it is loaded with protein which helps keep you feel full longer. I’m sold. If you ask me, quinoa is the breakfast of champions!