I learned something new the other day: quinoa is not just for salads, or pilafs, or side dishes of any kind. I know what you're thinking though: quinoa for breakfast sounds kind of weird. That's what I thought too when I first saw this recipe slide into my inbox. But upon further perusing, I thought, well, why the hell not? Especially when the quinoa is laden with maple syrup and cinnamon, oh and yeah, all of those glorious pecans.
Oatmeal is fabulous and fibre-rific. We all know that. But sometimes, it can be a little too, um, hearty? Quinoa is light and yet so satisfying, and being the protein powerhouse that is, it's a nice way to shake up the ol' breakfast routine. It doesn't have a lot of flavour of it's own, but will magically take on all of the loveliness you put with it. Plus it's really fun to eat. And breakfast should have a little fun factor to it.
I've made breakfast quinoa a couple of times now, and I'm kind of hooked. There's not a lot of stirring, which I appreciate, because I stir for a living, and sometimes a girl just has to give it a rest. I love the whole simmer, cover and forget about it breakfast. Just be sure to set your timer for 12 minutes - otherwise you'll have burnt quinoa, and I've done it. Not pretty.
I kind of love that you flavour the quinoa with vanilla and cinnamon and orange zest then nestle it into bowls. I'm having a torrid love affair with anything peach so of course slices of those beauties go on top. If you don't have peaches or hate them, then substitute whatever has your fancy - apples or pears would be lovely right now or heck go wild and crazy and slice a banana on top. Or go crazier and do it up with mangoes! Give it a drizzle of maple syrup or a little honey, even brown sugar would do. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and add a splash of almond milk. A hot and healthy breakfast in under 20 minutes. And you don't even have to stir that much.
See, not so weird after all.
Orange Scented Quinoa Cereal with Maple Syrup and Pecans
1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange
1 tsp cinnamon
2 peaches, sliced (or other fruit of your choosing)
4 tbsp maple syrup or honey or brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (or other nuts)
almond milk, soy milk, or cow's milk. whatever your preference
In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil. Stir in the rinsed quinoa. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for 12 minutes, until tender. Drain into a fine mesh strainer and put back into the pot. cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer into a large bowl and stir in the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon. Divide into bowls and garnish with fruit, maple syrup and nuts. Add a splash of milk. The cooked quinoa will keep in the fridge, covered for a few days, so go ahead a make a large batch. It's that good. Serves 3-4. Adapted from 20 minute Supper Club